Special thanks to Noisepop for their ongoing support of SFist’s coverage of the festival.
SFist has a hard time making it to opening bands. General tardiness, and memories of suffering through openers past both contribute to this problem. In the case of Smoosh however, we just couldn’t go because of envy. Forget teenaged Olympic athletes, rockers who are 11 and 12 years old are enough to send us into deep depression about our wasted youth. It’s not you, Smoosh, really. We blame it on your youth, since everyone who has actually seen you is apparently way more mature than SFist,and totally raves about your stuff, and doesn't seem depressed at all.
Amazingly, SFist did make it to Slim’s in time to see Aqueduct. Although they were technically just the opening band, Aqueduct became the stars of the night. We can say our life is most definitely the better for having seen a bunch of white boys grinning and singing about packing heat to a mellow techno groove. Totally awesome. Aqueduct wrapped up their set with a cover of "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" (of "Office Space" fame), which SFist predicts will finally replace Iron and Wine’s cover of that Postal Service song in Indie circles. Finally. We’re working on getting a video of that performance, which you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy. Make sure you set your TiVo to record Aqueduct’s performance on the Conan O’Brien show this Friday night.
The headliners of the night were Mates of State, who did a great job despite having to come on after “Damn It Feels Good”. Two things are always striking about Mates of State. The first one is how amazing their skin is. Seriously, it’s so unnaturally glowing and smooth that Neutrogena really ought to be using them as spokes models. The second is how tight Jason and Kori are. We know that this tightness is part of the Mates of State *story* but we really mean how tight they are in their playing. They keep it together throughout the complicated key and time signature changes that have become the hallmark of their unique sound. Mates of State are at their best when they are busting out their trickiest pieces. They were definitely in fine form last night, even covering a Nico song.
Photo by Michael Buckner from Aqueduct’s Website