Jason Hammel, Mates of State

Bands Together

Last week we covered the birth of College Street Music Hall.

Today we’re covering its baptism.

On Saturday, the stage hosted its very first local lineup—in New Haven terms, a monster of a bill. Headlining was Polaris, the Adventures of Pete & Pete band “that lives in your television set”—or did, before embarking on its first real-world tour last year. Three of the four members—frontman Mark Mulcahy (pictured above), bassist Dave McCaffrey and drummer Scott Boutier—once belonged to the legendary New Haven rock band Miracle Legion, whose upward trajectory stalled due to label troubles in the early ’90s.

Preceding Polaris was high-profile indie outfit Mates of State, a.k.a. married couple Kory Gardner and Jason Hammel. The two were East Haveners for a time before moving to Stratford, but maintain strong ties in the city. For much of Saturday’s show, New Haven trumpeter John Panos, who was a member of the high-flying local party band Pencilgrass and has toured with Mates in the past, joined the duo on stage.

Kicking off the bill was Mighty Purple, a folk rock act with extraordinary heart. Based in Hamden, the band was a cornerstone of the local music scene for years and years before going on hiatus. Still getting back together for special occasions, core members Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space music venue complex, and Jonny Rodgers, Steve’s brother and Purple’s lead guitarist, were joined by vocalist Jessy Griz and percussionist/2013 East Haven mayoral candidate Adam Christoferson.

Enjoy the post-show.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

More Stories