Add to Calendar20220114 19:0020220114 23:59:00America/New_YorkGusterDoors open at 7:00 PM. More show details at: https://wellmonttheater.com/shows/guster/The Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St, Montclair, NJ 07042
Negotiating power pop, folk-rock, and punk, among other influences, Ben Kweller’s highly melodic, often irreverent indie rock quickly made an impression among critics and colleagues when he emerged as a solo artist in the early 2000s following a stint with the band Radish. He found a following big enough to land him on the Billboard 200 for the first time with his second album, 2004’s On My Way. After a diversion into country influences with Changing Horses in 2009, he returned to a more eclectic indie rock with his sixth LP, 2012’s Go Fly a Kite. It marked his fourth straight appearance on the U.S. albums chart. Kweller made his acting debut in the film Rudderless in 2014, also appearing on the film’s soundtrack.
He launched his solo career with a series of limited-edition EPs, some of which reprised material that Radish had written but not released. The self-released home recording Freak Out, It’s Ben Kweller arrived in early 2000. His heartland hooks and folksy flourishes made fans out of several in the industry, and Kweller soon found himself touring with the likes of Juliana Hatfield, Guster, Kristin Hersh, and Evan Dando. He inked a deal with ATO Records in 2001 and released one final EP before issuing Sha Sha, his official solo debut, in 2002. More touring followed, as did a collaboration with Ben Folds and Ben Lee known as the Bens. Kweller’s sophomore album, On My Way, saw release in 2004 and was supported by a co-headlining tour with Death Cab for Cutie. The album reached number 83 on the Billboard 200, marking his debut on the chart.
In 2006, Kweller returned with his self-titled third album, playing all of instruments on the recording. It was a Top Ten independent album, reaching number 115 on the overall album chart. Kweller furthered his experimentation with 2009’s Changing Horses, which saw the songwriter embracing country music and employing a pedal steel guitarist. It returned him to the independent albums Top Ten as well as the top half of the Billboard 200. The singer continued to explore multiple styles on 2012’s Go Fly a Kite, which found Kweller dabbling in everything from power pop to alt-country. It landed on the rock and folk charts in addition to returning him to the Billboard 200. Kweller then made his acting debut in the music-themed film Rudderless, directed by William H. Macy. Released in 2014, the soundtrack featured the song “Hold On,” a duet between Kweller and Selena Gomez.
Kweller re-emerged in early 2019 with “Heart Attack Kid,” the lead single from his sixth studio album, Circuit Boredom, which was released in 2021.
A versatile and literate East Coast alt-rock institution, Guster emerged in the mid-’90s with a quirky amalgam of acoustic folk and pop before adopting a more robust sound that blended stadium-ready Brit-pop grandeur with proletariat American trad-rock. Known for their earworm hooks, soaring choruses, deft guitar noodling, and early on, their distinctive hand-drumming, the band broke big in 1999 with the release of their third studio effort, Lost and Gone Forever, which included the breezy hit single “Fa Fa.” Subsequent LPs like Ganging Up on the Sun (2006), Easy Wonderful (2010), and Look Alive (2019) found similar success, yielding numerous charting singles that found their way into popular television shows and films.