“A sweaty dance party – a good time vibe.” In the words of Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim, this is the best way to describe their show. Matt and Kim put on some of the best shows in human experience. They hail from Brooklyn and use catchy synth riffs and simple drum beats to create what many have deemed “quintessential party music.” Over the years, they perfected the art of turning an otherwise lifeless mass of people into a stunning orchestra of hefty pop-punk fury. When Matt and Kim play a concert, it’s more than just a concert, it’s an experience for all of the senses.
After an hour delay due to flight complications, Strange Names, a pop-rock Minneapolis-based group, started the show off right by getting the crowd into a dancing mood. Strange Names brought a more complete sound to fill in some of the gaps left by Matt and Kim’s bare-bones instrumentation. For example, Strange Names gave the crowd their recommended daily dose of bass, lest they starve during the main act.
Coming on stage, Matt introduced Kim as his, “partner in crime and partner in the bedroom.” Besides sex appeal, Matt and Kim shows have certain characteristics that veterans will remember and newcomers will crave. They started off their set with their tried-and-true classic, “Block after Block.” Using a combination of old and new songs, Matt and Kim proceeded to rock the sweaty wool socks off every Ole in the audience. They kept their set accessible to newcomers with “Yeah Yeah Yeah” there was no way you couldn’t sing the chorus from their first album, while still hitting their newer songs, such as “Now” and “Let’s Go.”
Throughout the show, I got the impression of how genuinely happy they are to be playing. Despite the fact that their instruments practically require them to be seated, they do not sit still. Each time Kim hopped on top of her bass drum, the crowd went wild. Chaining Matt to his keyboard wouldn’t keep him from jumping out to high five crowd members between songs. It is obvious they try to make their shows a feel-good time.
Apart from being masters at putting on a show, they include iconic events that every veteran has come to love. Their most famous move is Kim walking out onto the crowd to dance. Kim, who was in boots, waded out on top of the crowds hands, perhaps a metaphor for fan support, to teach the crowd how to dance.
No party would be complete without balloons and confetti, which were both released. Who knew that balloons could entertain college students for so long? While Matt sang about lessons learned, the crowd learned the hard way that confetti is a choking hazard and, in a sweaty dance party, sticks like glue. Between songs, Matt transitioned with a tight mix of rap music reminiscent of Girltalk. These transitions included heartbreak classic, “Just a Friend”, and their newest addition to their shows, the “Harlem Shake.”
While onstage, Matt and Kim exude a certain chemistry, not only in their back-and-forths, but also in their interactions with the crowd. After a whirlwind tour featuring “Good ‘Ol Fashion Nightmare,” “Lessons Learned” and “Now” my favorite, they finally reached the end to their zesty, sexy show. They closed out their set with a song that most of the crowd knew, “Daylight.”
Their music and their shows are something you can turn to for a pick-me-up in any mood. The energy and affection they give the audience makes you feel like they wholly appreciate the crowd and love being there.