Words and photos by Rafael Fuchs-Simon
Expectations were trumped by surprises and disappointment. As the first act, the Sunbears warmed up the jubilant crowed with Flaming Lips-esque lo-fi neon graphics and a giant balloon bouncing around the audience. The lesser-known two-piece band from Jacksonville, FL left the audiences dancing and begging for an encore that never came.
Roars of "Mates of State are the real headliners" erupted from the audience as the husband-wife duo Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel took the stage. Two virtuosos playing the glockenspiel, guitar, cello, violin, trombone and occasionally the keys accompanied the duo. By the end of the first song, the foursome had already played 11 different instruments who's sound blended together seamlessly. The indie-pop band's recorded albums barely give their live performance justice as their fans sung and danced in bliss. The collective effervescence shared by the crowd was most felt in songs like "The Re-arranger", where the call and response of the lyrics and instrumentation matched that of the fun loving stares between the married frontman/woman.
[Mates Of State]
The Black Kids, the band I was most excited to see was not able to command the same stage presence of the previous acts. Two bad jokes in and half a set left to play, the sold out show had an exodus of people leaving the room at half capacity. Diehards danced harder than ever as the show continued. The first encore song, "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with Me" infused with 30 seconds of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" was the highlight of the show.