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Sunday, December 3

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Concert Mon Apr 13 2009

Review: Mates of State @ Metro - 4/11/09


Kori Gardner of Mates of State (photo by Jeff Trost for Transmission).

It's always a bit of a heart-swell to watch Mates of State perform together. Whether it's at festival stages, touring with This American Life at the Chicago Theatre, or on the indie stage at the Metro, they're always cutting sweet smiles at each other throughout the set. Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) are the masterfully in-tune married duo that are Mates of State. I've seen them several times live, and each time you just can't help come out of their set happy. A Metro all-ages show that ended on the early side of last Saturday night, the crowd that came out to see SUNBEARS!, Black Kids, and the Mates were certainly in the mood for dancing and good times and definitely left giddy.


Jason Hammel of Mates of State (photo by Jeff Trost for Transmission).

Noted for bringing their adorable kids on tour, Kori and Jason didn't bring the kiddles on stage this time, but I did spy some extremely young concert goers enjoying most of the show on the balcony with the added protection of noise-canceling earphones. They got a boost to some tall nanny's shoulders to catch a bird's eye view of the goings on (something I wish I could pull off, myself, at some shows).

After getting a fine crowd warm-up from openers SUNBEARS! and Black Kids (the former of which left the Metro with quite a bit of confetti to clean up that night) as well as an appearance by show-poet Thax Douglas, the Mates of State took the stage with a couple of additions in the form of some string and percussion support. The incorporation of a cello and violin into their songbook actually provided some fine deep tones, rounding out select songs in a way that didn't change their original intent. Songs like "Get Better" and "Like U Crazy" got the crowd going, and the strings added a kind of rich chocolate center to the candy-coated shell we were primed and ready to taste.

Playing popular old songs ("Ha Ha") amidst the new ("My Only Offer"), at one point, Kori took a request from the audience of adoring Mates fans and suggested they play an older tune which hadn't been on their setlist in at least five years, she guessed. When Jason started in with the wrong beat, however, she playfully skooled him till he got it right. Ah, if only all conflicts could be solved by rocking!

The evening ended with four extra floor toms added to the mix, played by members of the Mate's backing group as well as members of SUNBEARS!, with even more confetti tossed into the crowd and a gleeful dance romp enjoyed by all. At the conclusion, the only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth from this sweet show was its brevity. But hey, maybe bedtime was early that night.

[Check all the photos from the evening by Jeff Trost on the Gapers Block: Transmission Flickr page.]

DJA of Mad Decent Mash-Up, Black Kids vs. Mates of State (mp3)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


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Andy's Jazz Club
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Beat Kitchen
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Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
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Park West
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Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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