Mates of State
with The Generationals
I don't feel like I can say this very often, but this was the best show I have been to in a long time—there were no parts for which I would have rather been somewhere else.
I walked in, took one look at the stage, and knew that it was going to be a good time. The whole wall behind the stage was filled with different colored flowers and there were clouds made of cotton hanging from the ceiling. There was lots of milling around before the opening band, The Generationals hit the stage, but I was standing front and center and wouldn't have given up my spot for anything. I had never heard of The Generationals before learning about this tour coming to Salt Lake, but listened to them a little bit so I knew what to expect. Little did I know that they were so good live.
Their music was super catchy rock and roll with driving guitars, cool baselines, and easy drums. They had the perfect formula for making everyone want to shuffle in their shoes and smile a lot. I like shows where the drummer looks bored and you can tell by their massive arms that they're a much better drummer than they're leading you to believe, case in point here. It must be because I love pop music and fantastic drummers, which rarely go hand in hand. At times I felt like I was listening to '60s pop, full of jangley guitars and a voice that was pretty standard for that era, kind of like The Zombies, but more nasal. These guys have two full length albums, and one came out this year, so it was exciting to go back home and listen to the differences in their sound between 2009 and 2011. There wasn't a whole lot, but it is probably better that way—They know what the fuck they are doing.
While the guys at Urban Lounge were setting up Mates of State's stuff, I couldn't help but giggle every few seconds. When the drums came out, I noticed that moss and other flora was adorning the bass drum, and some of the mic stands had ivy wrapped around them. It looked like a mini forest by the time everything was set up, complete with a keyboard disguised as a little tree.
"Oh fuck," was all I could think, "this is going to be magical." And it was, multiplied by infinity. When they were singing, every once in a while they'd look at each other and smile, and it felt like I was getting to experience a really special moment for both of them. I mean, I was, what is cuter than a husband-and-wife band that both look so stoked to be alive? Um, nothing. Touring with them, was a ballin' trumpet player and a guitarist, but Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel were almost impossible to take my eyes off of. They're magnetic, and the energy between them is so apparent. They played my favorite songs from all their albums, "Rearrange-Us" and "Whiner's Bio" being top on my list of what I wanted them to play. It was really hard to not have a gigantic grin on my face the whole time, but that might just come with who I am. I fully appreciate when shows make me like bands more, and this one really did. There were times when I felt like I was dreaming, as corny as it sounds, but when things feel that good, it's a legitimate curiosity. They sounded so incredible throughout the whole set, furthering my want to start a cute band with my boyfriend.
The bike ride back home was full of smiles and giggles, I almost felt drunk from just watching them. Then, as if I still had some Mates of State magic left on my jacket or something, I came home to a big group of people that make me want to smile forever.
Mates of State @ Urban 11.12
By Kyla Grant
Mates of State