Mates of State takes over for Ra Ra Riot

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 17, 2011 7:20 AM

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SCOPE's concert featuring Ra Ra Riot and Mates of State will only feature the second band's performance tonight.

Ra Ra Riot backed out of the show becuase of "vocal issues and illness among the band," according to a press release from the band's agent.

When The Daily Iowan spoke with bassist Mathieu Santos of Ra Ra Riot earlier in the week, he mentioned the illness but did not indicate that the band would not be able to perform today.

Ra Ra Riot was supposed to perform in seven states in as many days starting Monday, but because of the illnesses, six of the shows have been canceled.

Mates of State, the co-headliner at the Blue Moose Tap House, 211 Iowa Ave., will still perform with the Generationals at 8 p.m. today. Admission for the show ranges from $15 to $17.

The American indie-pop duo comprises Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner.

The two played in the same band during college. After graduating, they moved to California, where Gardner became a teacher and Hammel planned to attend medical school. That plan didn't last long when the couple began focusing again on making music together, and they were married in 2001.

Since then, Mates of State has relocated to various cities on the East and West Coasts while touring extensively.

The band is notable for its female/male harmony and great singing intensity. Gardner can most often be found behind an organ onstage, and Hammel behind a drum set. But Gardner will sometimes play a synthesizer, various pianos, and occasionally a guitar. Hammel generally stays put onstage, but he will also occasionally play a synthesizer.

Mates of State has toured with numerous bands, including Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, Spoon, and Death Cab for Cutie. Other notable achievements include playing at popular music festivals such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza in Chicago.

— by Jordan Montgomery

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