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
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