Mates of State @ Toad’s Place (New Haven, CT)

With a “play anywhere, anytime” approach to live shows, Mates of State (MOS) made their way over to Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT this past Friday (May 16) to put on one heck of an amazing performance.

Comprised of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, who were wed in 2001, MOS creates songs filled with bass-heavy organ, solid drum lines, and vocal harmonies that would impress even Brian Wilson. And even with the birth of their daughter Magnolia in 2004, this duo continues to tour the nation playing shows for eager audiences of all ages.

After opening sets by Philistines, Jr., M.T. Bearington, and Monitor and the Merrimac, we were introduced to MOS with their opening song “Now.” The audience responded loudly with enthusiasm, which grew exponentially when MOS began playing their 4th song “Get Better” from their new album Re-arrange Us.

I was excited to see two cellos and a violin join Kori and Jason with “Get Better” because it adds a whole new element to their music. Their last few CDs were masterfully comprised simply of organ and drums, yet Re-arrange Us incorporates several other instruments into the mix. The cellos and violin stayed on-stage for much of the set, and continued to add a twist to songs such as “Think Long” and “These Days” (a Jackson Browne cover recorded for the Wicker Park soundtrack). The remainder of their 19-song set consisted of tried-and-true songs from past albums, and a few new ones added to help promote Re-arrange Us.

All in all, Mates of State brought a lot of fun and energy to the stage. Kori and Jason are devoid of the ego that comes with more widespread popularity, and can often be seen hanging around Connecticut getting some Pad Thai and enjoying family life… well, at least when they’re not traveling the States in their cramped van.

Stay tuned for part 2, featuring a Q&A session with Jason and Kori!

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One Response to “Mates of State @ Toad’s Place (New Haven, CT)”

  1. Eric says:

    Although this show was quite amazing and although they were playing to their hometown crowd I have to say I was quite disappointed in the lack of space the under 21 crowd was given. It appeared most of the energy was happening on the middle-stage right portion of the stage. Of course not your problem it is something I have put up with Toads Place for quite some time.
    -Baltimore/CT Resident

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