4/28 Black Kids/Mates Of State @ La Zona Rosa
The Black Kids and Mates of State co-headlining tour stopped through Austin on Tuesday night and we were fortunate enough to catch the show. The night brought a lot of dance hall hits along with some pop jams from both bands. It was quite an evening. Follow the jump to read a brief review of the show and see some fancy photos.
In our rush to get to the show, we missed opening act Sunbears so our night began with first headliner Black Kids. The Jacksonville, FL band came out onto the stage amidst a sea of blue light and some old school disco music going through the speakers. As soon as the disco cut off, the band jumped right into a power-pop/danced filled set that saw a lot of ups and downs from the band. Highlights from the set included the obvious singles and crowd pleasers “Hurricane Jane” & “Listen to your Body Tonight”(my personal favorite) which got the fans moving their feet and pumping their fists along to the beat. In-between the heavy hitters, some songs felt almost a bit like filler and definitely didn’t get the crowd going like the radio singles. Not that these songs weren’t great, just not as good as the singles. Or maybe this band is just too new for everyone to sing along to every song from the set list. Regardless, Black Kids is a band held together by the tight bass playing of Owen Holmes and pop drumming of Kevin Snow who often get forgotten behind lead singing showman Reggie Youngblood. Both can hold their own when compared to rhythm sections of fellow indie/dance bands. Al in all, The Black Kids set was a fun filed affair with one or two songs that maybe lacked a bit in energy/musicianship (new song “U.F.O. Cool” hopefully doesn’t make it to the studio…not a fan) Apart from that, you can’t argue with the pure fun of show closer/house bringer downer/top song of ’08 “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You”.
About 15 minutes after Black Kids wrapped things up, the veterans known as Mates of State took the stage. Now we’ve probably seen Mates more than any other band over the last 8 years or so and we know what to expect from their shows. Fast paced, organ driven pop music with perfectly belted vocal harmonies characterize the band’s music and that’s exactly what we got on Tuesday. The band powered through a set that featured songs from their last three albums as well as my all time favorite “La Hov” from Mates debut LP of 2000 My Solo Project. I felt aged amongst other fans when the duo broke into this old school jam and the crowd was mostly silently as I yelled along to every word. I remember 6 years ago when “La Hov” was a crowd favorite… I guess a lot of new fans have joined the fray or maybe it was too late on a Tuesday night for old fogies like me… The encore set featured an intimate cover of “Long Way Home” originally by Tom Waits and made more popular by Norah Jones. Mates wrapped things up by bringing out a few members of Black Kids and Sunbear to help out on their closing number “Goods (All in Your Head)”. This provided a nice end to a very fun evening of pop music. Were you there?
Pictures are provided by Jonathon Edwards. Say hi to him on myspace.
And here’s that song “La Hov” for good measure:[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/04-lahov.mp3]
Download: Mates of State – La Hov [MP3]