Hey Marseilles, Good Graeff, and Mates of State at Club Café 6/22

June 23, 2015

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On June 22, Club Café was packed with that special breed of Pittsburgh Monday concert-goers, smiling and bopping along to quiet music playing before any of the bands even took the stage. The venue hosted an impressive line-up, starting with Hey Marseilles opening at 8PM sharp, followed by Good Graeff and ending with Mates of State. The night marked the first show of a long tour for the three groups, thus instigating the few small mishaps with guitar pedals, stage setups, and setlists that can only be expected from show #1.

Hey Marseilles filled their set with a sampling of new sounds from their third, unreleased LP. The cool Seattle-based quintet filled the small venue with orchestral indie-folk. The band members scattered around the venue for the rest of the night: It seemed almost impossible not to bump into one of them.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 6.02.58 PMGood Graeff, featuring twin sisters Brooke and Brit Graeff on guitar and cello, respectively, amplified the energy in the room immediately when on stage. The spunky singers, backed by a drummer and bassist, created a punk-rock-folk hybrid that made the audience both head-bang and stomp their feet.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 6.00.25 PMThe night ended with a packed set from Mates of State, who boasted that they had 30 songs on their setlist. Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel formed Mates of State in 1997 and released their first EP in 1999. The married couple provided a somewhat comical dynamic onstage, occasionally bickering about the setlist. “He wants to change the it already!” Gardner exclaimed early on in the set. The veteran duo reemerged on the scene with You’re Going To Make It in 2015 after a brief hiatus to focus on raising their two young children (who they joked were still in the van). The two proved that longevity pays off, as they communicated silently with each other, flawless switching between instruments and jumping around the stage. They closed the set with a high-energy rendition of “Beautiful Kids” from You’re Going to Make It, a song about the impact of technology on our communication. They drove home the point by singing “You should stare into my eyes more” while locking eyes with each other from across the stage.

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