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hitting the Lawrence music scene…

This last week has been pretty messy: car wreck, lots of schoolwork, photos up the wazoo and a cold that’s been off and on all week. Let’s back it up to last weekend, pre-accident.

Friday I left to go to Lawrence, getting there right around 7pm. I forgot that “Late Night,” a basketball sort of pep rally, was going on right around then… so things were already a mess. I was extra careful to avoid hitting all the people jaywalking, some already fairly drunk.

Steve, two guys from his hall, Katie, a friend of hers and myself all met up at Old Chicago. Well, that wasn’t a great idea, for the place had a 45 minute wait. We chanced Applebee’s, and got in fairly quickly. Dinner was amazingly fun, and soon it was time for the concert.

Mates of State, I am the World Trade Center and The Thermals were all playing at the Bottleneck at 9pm. No one really seemed interested in going, so I finally begged Steve to come with me and I ended up paying for his ticket.

I am the World Trade Center started the set. I’ve heard quite a bit by them, but really was unsure about hearing them live. Well, as soon as the guy and girl took the stage, it was dance time! Seriously, they were doing all sorts of crazy dance moves, whipping that crowd into a frenzy. Dan, the guy from the group, was playing all sorts of crazy electronic instruments, including one where he would wave his hands into the matrix area over the device, cueing different beats and riffs. It was much like a Theremin, but used infrared instead I believe. MOVE YOUR FEET!

^Look, Dan’s in the crowd with a microphone! More photos here. Also, two videos here and here (Quicktime, 5MB.)

After the kids settled down and the stage was redressed, The Thermals came on. I’d never heard of them before, so I just stood around. It had some very emo-typical aspects, especially the lead singer whining in the middle of a thick muddy sound. Honestly, the whole thing just hurt my ears. No good.

After WAY too long, Mates of State took the stage. A duo consisting of organ and drums, Kori and Jason managed to perfectly recreate their album sound. I’d heard that their live shows were cute, but that may have been an understatement. They sang to each other almost as much as to the crowd. It was great. The sound coming out of just two instruments was plain awesome.

^Mates of State, looking cute. As before, photos here. And videos here and here.

After the show, Steve and I hung around for a bit, taking a few Xerox posters from the walls. I noticed Jason standing over to the side, so I waited to talk to him. I told him that this was my first Mates of State show and that I drove over 3 hours to see them. He really looked happy, so we took a picture together. I have no idea what he is doing in it. I also bought a snazzy t-shirt.

By this time, Steve and I were thirsty for shakes. We went over to Iowa St, where a line of fast food places are. Oh, but wait. “Late Night” just got out. This means cars lined up out of the fast food parking lots and into the main street. We checked every place, each the same. After deciding on McDonalds, the wait went by pretty fast and we got our shakes.

I fell asleep shortly after that, tired but with a warm feeling. Could have been the shakes.

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