The show was great. Kori and Jason sounded great, and Anton and Lewis (Patsner?) who are playing backup instruments with the Mates, were amazing. The violin, cello, guitar, trombone, etc. really added to the sound. It was a cool experience.
Mates of State played songs from all over their records and everyone sang along. The crowd was weird, but we'll get to that later. First, the venue:
The show was at the Bluebird in St Louis. The Bluebird is attached to what I've heard is an historice St Louis eatery called Beffa's. From what I understand, Beffa's is kind of a lunch spot, and nestled downtown on Olive, right next to the Wachovia Securities building.
It's tiny. The building almost looks like a local-access tv station from the outside. They have tons of parking, which is a rarity in STL for a venue. But when we walked in, I was a little bit surprised.
For those of you from GC that are reading this, the room is really similar to the old Blackroom. But the stage is smaller. The "bar" is a counter with alcohol on it and behind it. No taps, no register... It looked like a candy stand at a youth group. Come to think of it, the whole room looked like a church youth group room albeit for the booze neons and drunk college kids.
Jessica read someplace that the place can hold 400. I believe it can but it probable shouldn't. Oh, and the ventilation in there is not existent. It was effing hot. We were dripping with sweat after being in there for 15 minutes.
The first band that played was called Gentleman Auction House and they were pretty good. At first I immediately thought of a band from here called Hot Fever. I think Hot Fever could be better than GAH if they were tighter. And had a good recording.
I'm not going to go about describing GAH; just check out their myspace page up there and listen if you want.
The second band that played is called Headlights. I think they've gotten some Daytrotter publicity and have been building their reputation. They're from Champaign/Urbana. I liked the band's sound, it was just boring after three songs. Sort of like Coldplay. Boring I mean, not that they sound the same.
Anyway. Mates of State played after and were great. The last time we saw them play was at the Desdemona festival in Cincinnati a couple years ago. Interestingly enough, both times it has been beastly hot at the venue. In any case, Jason and Kori had great banter, connected with the crowd, sounded phenomenal, and have a great couple of guys backing them up with strings.
We also bought their newest record Re-arrange Us on vinyl LP. As in, a real record. We haven't listened to it yet, but I'm excited. If you like Mates of State, definitely check them out on this tour. If you get a chance to see them at a smaller venue, for sure take it. The intimacy of a small stage and room makes the tickets worth so much more.