Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, the husband-and-wife duo behind Mates of State, once had typical day jobs. She was a teacher; he was a cancer researcher. Then they found a much more enjoyable vocation: a pop band. It’s hard to imagine either of them without an outlet for the kinetic energy they display onstage. They’re sharing that fun with comedians, contortionists, and sword-swallowers as part of the Summer Crushes tour. While Gardner rocks out on the organ, Hammel pounds out the percussion. They exchange vocal harmonies and melodies, soaring over each other like happy kids. Mates of States’ carefree merriment glows in the funky electro-dance track “Fraud in the ’80s” and the stark, bedtime pop number “Lullaby Haze.” In addition to their own songs, expect to hear favorites by Belle and Sebastian, Nick Cave, and Daniel Johnston, all part of the duo’s new covers album, Crushes. Philadelphia’s Free Energy share the bill. Sticky riffs and thick drumming fuel their huge sound, which will probably hit the back of the room and bounce around with a Thin Lizzy-style crunch. Mates of State, Free Energy, with Todd Barry play the Grog Shop at 10 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $14 day of show; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.—Danielle Sills
Review the show at clevescene.com/concertscene
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.