Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, the mates better known as Mates of State, know how to initiate the ideal dance party, even on a Monday. The side-banged, beer-in-hand fans at Phoenix, Arizona’s Rhythm Room were more than ready to “get this shit started” as Hammel phrased it, when the duo did their own sound-check. Not ones to mess around, Mates kicked off with “Think Long” and “Goods,” rocking like it was a Saturday night with no Sunday plans. A new one, Kori and Jason’s favorite of the set, was filled with meows and perfect harmonies.
The chemistry between the married musicians was undeniably contagious and never more evident than when they invited the openers, Asobi Seksu, to cover “Danny’s Song” with them. Who doesn’t want to sing “And even though we ain’t got money / I’m so in love with you, honey,” with the cutest couple backing you up? Re-emerging to the M.O.S. chant for the encore, the pair finished with “Running Out” (a fitting finale, as the last track on their latest Bring it Back). Let’s hope their daughter, Magnolia, who is not even two and already enrolled in music classes, will someday “bring it back” and make the duo a trio. KELLYN JOHNSON / PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CLAWSON
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