Denver turned out in great numbers for the Guster at Paramount Theatre show Saturday, February 6, 2016. By the time Guster started playing, it was a completely packed house. So packed that we even lost our original seats. The music was too chill for me to care. It was a night of epic musicianship and stoners (we’ll talk about that more later). Vetiver opened the show for Guster.
We were lucky enough to get photo passes to the show on behalf of Guster’s management, Nettwerk Music Group. My thanks go out to Dan, Dalton, and Noah for hooking us up! I had a good friend and photographer with me, Collin O’Malley of Stratos Images, at the show to cover a few different angles. Photographers don’t have the convenience of a photo pit at Paramount, so I was glad to have two of us. I think we got some great pictures, but let’s start with my review of show.
Vetiver at Paramount Theatre
I don’t spend a lot of my time listening to folk music, but I was pleasantly surprised with the musicianship of Vetiver. I couldn’t find an explanation of the band name anywhere online, but one might infer its origins with the knowledge that it’s a type of grass. Their live sound was definitely the type of sound that I’d toss on my record player any time I wanted to just chill. It’s nothing overly fancy: just guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. The frontman had a great voice that never wavered. I had spent a little time listening to Vetiver’s most popular tracks on Spotify ahead of the show. I always like to familiarize myself with the opening bands before the show. Strangely, it sounded like a completely different band to me. Their studio music has electronic and atmospheric elements to it that seemed completely absent at the live show. I’d almost consider the set “unplugged” or “acoustic” and not a representation of the music you’d buy online. That makes my job a bit difficult. I’ll still recommend that you check out their music on Spotify. Buy it if you like it, but my live experience may not match your live experience at their next show. That’s not a bad thing, as far as I’m concerned. It’s just something I noticed.
After spending some time researching Vetiver, I found that the band is the creative outlet of Andy Cabic. Andy is Vetiver’s lead singer and the only permanent member of the band. He brings in other musicians to play with him at any given time. Naturally, that would result in some inconsistencies in their sound. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the music they created on Saturday night. My only criticism was a general lack of energy. There was a tremendous difference in the stage presence between Vetiver and Guster. Granted, Guster’s music is significantly more high-energy. I’d like to see Vetiver reach out more to the audience so their chillaxing music doesn’t disengage the crowd entirely. Overall, they played a great set. I hope the audience thought so too.