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Friday, June 13, 2008

(6/12/08) Mates of State w/ Headlights - Houston, TX

So Mates of State strolled through town last night, their first trip through in a few years, and I was pretty pumped as I had never seen them before.  However, I was just as excited to see Headlights, a band whose first album was my #9 album of 2006, and whose second I reviewed pretty fairly as well.  But disappointment was in the air.  Though I do enjoy Some Racing, Some Stopping very much, I was dumbstruck by the fact that Headlights didn't play a single song (not one) from Kill Them With Kindness, an album I consider to be better, song for song.

Despite that, the band put on a great show.  Tristan took over most of the vocal work, and really the only song that Erin sang lead on was their big hit from the new album, "Cherry Tulips."  Seeing the band dance around with such energy and vigor was really fun, and really helped get a crowd who wasn't all that familiar with their music into the show.  Of course, this dancing came with a downside.  Erin accidentally knocked over her beer, and began to unknowingly dance in the puddle that formed.  The front row got splashed (I got a drop or two), but she was kind enough to apologize afterwards.  Their best song?  Probably "Market Girl," which is still one of my favorite songs of 2008 thus far.  BTDubs, my camera isn't the getting a good picture was tough with them moving around so much.

Real quick, I gotta get through this second band, Black Joe Lewis.  A really energetic 7-piece band complete with baritone sax, alto sax, trumpet, you know...all the good stuff.  And the band had a really good sound; kind of like a classic rock mixed with James Brown.  But to me, all of their songs sounded the same.  It was as if they had one song, with different riffs.  The crowd ate it up though, so good for them.

So...Mates of State.  What is there to say?  The band played perfectly, and managed to play a wide range of their music without focusing too much on their newer stuff.  You don't really get a feel for it when you're listening to their albums, but the band is incredibly talented.  Seeing Kori tear up two keyboards simultaneously while singing, and Jason do the exact same thing on drums...well, it was impressive.

The band brought along a couple of multi-instrumentalists with them.  They guys played strings on all of their new songs off of Re-Arrange Us, but they also played guitar, trombone, percussion, and whatever else the song called for.  My favorite song that the band did was either "Fluke" or "The Re-Arranger."  Both were performed with such energy and passion that singing along and resisting the urge to stand perfectly still came incredibly easy.  I've been waiting for the band to come through Houston for a while, and I was in no way disappointed.  After 18 songs, which being Mates of State songs, were all pretty short, the band waved goodbye and left the stage.  Then I went home.  I was exhausted.

If you went to the show last night, let me know what you thought.  Leave a comment below!

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