Friday, May 01, 2009

Mates of State and Black Kids at the Henry Fonda Theater

The idea of driving into Hollywood to see Mates of State and Black Kids during a free Depeche Mode concert didn't seem like a good idea on the surface. Apparently, the warnings to avoid Hollywood worked because there was no traffic upon my arrival. Parking was still a hot commodity at the bargain price of twenty dollars a spot.

Judgement Day

Judgement Day blew everyone away. Plain and simple. When you are bold enough to register your band page as then you better back it up. Judgement Day backed up their boldness by shredding on the cello (Weezer lyric reference) and violin.

Anton Patzner (Violin) and Lewis Patzner (Cello) use their brotherly bond to create elaborate darkly weighted symphonies. Judgement Day will hold their own when they embark on another tour with Dredg and Torche. I expect many faces to be melted on that tour. They will be back playing the Glass House on May 8th.

Mates of State
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Mates of State charmed me with their synthesizer tinged blissful pop songs at the House of Blues Anaheim with Santigold. Re-Arrange Us is Mates of State latest album on Barsuk records. Opening their set with the bouncy "My Only Offer", Mates of State turned in a solid performance from start to finish.

Kori Gardner (Synthesizers,Vocals) had a two tiered keyboard setup that included a microKorg and Roland keyboard. Mates of State were also accompanied by the gentlemen of Judgement Day who added a more classical touch to their songs. The setlist was quite heavy with new songs like "Get Better", "You Are Free", "Now", "Jigsaw" and "The Re-Arranger".

Jason Hammel (Drums/Vocals) mixed it up behind his drum kit doing an admirable job drumming and singing at the same time. Mates of State definitely had a strong contingent of fans as I spotted a number of people departing at the end of their set.

Black Kids

Youthfulness has its assets as Black Kids can attest. A virtual energizer bunny on stage, Reggie Youngblood (Vocals/Guitars) danced, sang and strummed his guitar non-stop. The audience shimmied and shaked in kind to songs from their album Partie Traumatic.

Despite the thrashing they received at the hands of Pitchfork, Black Kids still had a large group of fans dancing and singing along to hyperactive songs. I admit I was a bit jealous of Reggie's white souped up Fender Jaguar guitar. Owen Holmes (Bass) joined Reggie by rocking his own Fender Jaguar Bass.

Black Kids covered a good majority of their debut album by burning through such songs as "Listen To Your Body Tonight", "Partie Traumatic", "I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)", "Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)", "Hit The Heartbreakes" and "I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You". It will be interesting to see if Pitchfork will champion them when they release their second album.

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