This last week has been a cannonball splash into those sweaty, hot, day-drinking, hazy summertime days. Fourth of July yard parties came and went, and I can barely remember what came before laying in grass and not knowing what time it is. It's funny, because here in the Pacific NW we spend 80 percent of the year dreaming of these days, and then within one week they're here and your brain is total mush. But I do remember what happened last week-–if only because I have the pictures to prove it.
On the last night in June, before July hit with its heat and promise of summer music to come, Mates of State played a show that carried us over from wishful thinking to full-on heat and booze-fueled debauchery. The Stepkids started the night off loud and fast, getting funky and making some booties move. They played under a crazy color blitz of a visual light show, wearing all white and playing in front of a white backdrop. If a migraine was coming on before the show and you decided to stay in, you would be very happy to know that you made the right choice, because that set was not for you.
When the white sheet dropped and the keyboards and drums moved to the front of the stage, you found yourself in a different world entirely. There was a full flower filled tapestry that hung from the ceiling to the floor, and moss and vines that grew out around the instruments. Fluffy cotton candy clouds hung from the darkness, twinkling with lights-–the whole scene bringing to mind the magic of A Midsummer Night's Dream drug-induced love affair. And isn't that what every Mates of State show should be? Every time husband and wife duo Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel glance at each other during the set, it's all the more believable, and you swoon into the magic a little more. As time has gone on, and with the release of their most recent album Mountaintops (2011), they've only become more seasoned musicians, their voices sounding stronger, more compatible, and their live shows having more variety and zest-–playing some new polished songs and some past crowd favorites.
Photos after the jump!