In a nation shattered by the injustice of etc. and so on, this show was a pick me up.
It took place at the Wallingford American Legion, which was essentially a living room for deceased veterans (and I absolutely adored the drapes). The joint was sold out when I arrived, but thanks to some conniving and actual knifing, I found my way in. The first band, Connecticut’s very own The Parasprinter, are an alleged Nintendocore band. I missed them, but I heard they were in Spin a few months ago or something.
The surprise of the night was not the following band, New York’s Bishop Allen, but the androgynous couple in front of me. Reports later indicated that they were indeed a male and female couple, and had a doozy of a time. Bishop Allen seemed to have had an equal or greater doozy, I suspect, although I could not actually see them having a doozy since I was in the back of the room. Their dancy, quasi-folky rock numbers pleased the crowd and even converted a friend of mine into a devout Allenian. One song sounded like something that didn’t make the cut for The Moon and Antarctica so Isaac Brock sold it to them for drugs and/or preteens. Good song, though, and enjoyable. At times I couldn’t tell if there were two singers, or if the one singer was alternating between a faux-twang and a faux-cockney accent, and I got kinda mad at them for a while, but let it go eventually. The cherry on top of this rock sundae, however, had to be their Psycho Killer cover; people actually KNEW this song, and even I quietly mumbled the fa fa’s. For the last song of their last date on the tour, the band invited the Mates to participate in some raucous rocking, which led to Kori and Jason both playing guitars, something not a whole lot of us have ever seen. Allen was probably one of the best openers I had never/hardly heard, and this will probably tell you more than I ever could.
First and foremost, yes, the Mates were cute and cuddly, friendly and fuzzy. While I would love to gush over all of their cute mannerisms and precious moments, it would only seem appropriate that I do so while crocheting a tank and baking cobbler. After a few sound mishaps (who WAS standing on that mic cable?), they got this party started with “Fluke,” off of 2003’s Team Boo, but only a few brave ass-shakers actually moved. That’s my main complaint about their set; I saw mouths singing along, so why couldn’t there be asses shaking along? The last time I saw them there was ass-shaking aplenty, but before I wax asstastic, I must say that I enjoyed their set on the whole. They pulled most of the set from Team Boo, but there were a handful of older songs, and two new ones as well (one of which was accompanied by Bishop Allen!). The sound quality was surprisingly good for a living room, which made me curse everyone in the universe for making me miss Joan Of Arc at the same venue a month earlier. It was a show filled with surprises, another being that Kori’s sister and dad were attending the show. The sister delighted the crowd with stomach turning “would you rathers,” while the dad donned a Mates shirt like any good indie dad would. Family togetherness IS indie rock. But if I had to rate the two times I’ve seen Mates Of State in terms of asses, then this show would be Beyoncé to Boston’s J. Lo. Sorry Wallingford, but it’s the sad truth.