Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner kicked off their careers as Mates of State 10 years ago, and the Cafe Du Nord played a pretty key role in the band’s early days. Last night the married duo returned to SF to celebrate by doing what they do best — pump up a crowd with one helluva frenetic set.
Some notes to make it all the more interesting:
- Yesterday was Jason’s birthday, and the crowd serendipitously conspired to interrupt the set with an impromptu round of “Happy Birthday.”
- The band played their planned set, but took requests from the crowd as well. This worked out well on some occasions (read: their cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days”), and not so well on others (read: Kori was unable to remember how to play “Tan/Black” because it had been too long).
- The duo performed a pretty healthy sampling of My Solo Project tracks, including “I Have Space” which Kori claims they’ve only played live once or twice.
- Kori debuted a new song that had an awesome closing line, which she’d hinted at on Twitter.
- We were treated to their cover of Tom Wait’s “Long Way Home.”
Add to all of this:
- The Mates of State have been a staple in my life for a decade now. I shot a music video for their song “Goods (It’s All in Your Head),” and their music has been the soundtrack to many a life moments…
- The last time we saw the band perform live, we discovered weeks later that we were expecting Amelie. Subsequently, Amelie has grown up listening to Mates of State, knows many of their songs by memory, and is one of the few kids that were not introduced to the band via their appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba! (although upon viewing the episode, she proceeded to flip out screaming “That’s Mates of State!!!!!”)
- After the show, Kori and Jason hung around and were totally approachable. I chatted with Kori for a bit, told her about Amelie and asked her to record a video message for her. She encouraged us to come to an early show the next time they come into town as their kids will be there and would love to meet Amelie.
- It turns out the name Amelie was also on their short list of baby names. Small world indeed.
Anyway, it was a great night that will be hard to top. Follow the jump for a set list and a video message from Kori to Amelie.