The hyper-positive drum-and-keyboard duo of Matt and Kim:From playing DIY art spaces to packing grand old joints like the Ogden Theatre
, you have to wonder how much bigger the Brooklyn-proud (we'll get to that later) duo can get. Really. Will they add a member a few years from now? Replace (gasp!) a member? Break up? Do a concept album about
For those who think they're about to hit the ceiling of their popularity (and it's entirely possible), last night's show might have disproved that notion. The band played for more than a hour -- its longest set ever -- stretching out the set, mixing in hip-hop covers and dance hits, keeping any audience members not familiar with the band's entire catalogue engaged.
Just after 10:30 p.m., the duo took to the stage to wailing, screaming and more than a few soaking-wet drunk fans. The anticipation was apparent before they even took the stage: A wave of cheering went up as a member of the Odgen's stage crew who resembled Matt Johnson pushed Kim Schifino's drum set to the front of the stage. (False alarm, guys!)
Instead of Matt & Kim, we were all treated to a killer mix (they should upload it to their website -- on the low, of course) of seemingly every rap song from the past two decades that included references to Brooklyn. Although Matt's from Vermont and Kim's from Rhode Island, like a bajillion other twenty-somethings, the pair moved to
New York Brooklyn in the earlier part of the last decade and made it their home.
To the brain-rattling bass and volume of "Where's Brooklyn At," by Biggie Smalls, the two bounded on to the stage, Matt waving a towel around like a sideways helicopter, while dozens of balloons with Kim's head screened on them floated above the sweaty crush of people in front of the stage.
After some hyping, they thanked the crowd for showing up and gave a brief oral history of their times in Denver before launching into "I Wanna." It's hard not to be tight when you're a two-piece band, but Matt and Kim were really in the groove, standing on a drum throne here, amping up the crowd there, pulling on a Budweiser in between.
While the group decided to start drinking during their set instead of before (because the high altitude makes them lightweights, natch), everyone around me in the front had their livers set to stun by the time the band took the stage -- especially the dude hunched over a railing below a staircase with a pool of vomit at his feet and a female friend rubbing his back. Bummer, guy.
While Matt and Kim didn't play any songs off their upcoming record, Sidewalks, of which only one single, "Cameras," has been released, they pulled cuts from all parts of their discography. "I just want to hear shit I can sing along to," Johnson commented, likely echoing the sentiments of the audience.
There was no encore, perhaps because the band's most popular and certainly most bankable song, "Daylight," closed out the set, and judging from the screams of girls and approving head nods from guys, they couldn't get better than that. And shit, they nailed it, even with the extended piano intro.
Johnson prefaced that final song with a rather poignant quotation that provided an extra emotional punch to an already heart-lifting song, noting that fans had approached him and Kim, saying the song gave them an extra push during hard times.
"This has been a hell of a year for us. Life gets harder, but this is the best possible job I could have," Johnson said.
Immediately after the final song, the house music -- "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z -- went up and the sweaty partiers filed out.
Opener and Denver local Pictureplane started off the night, playing his style of chilled-out electro, occasionally treading into experimental territory. Wearing faded skinny black jeans with holes in the knees, black combat boots and a sleeveless black shirt, I couldn't help but think this guy looked like he belonged at a D-beat show.
"My name is Pictureplane, I live in this fucking town, man. I don't know if I've ever seen any of you people before," he said before his last (and new) song. "You guys excited for Matt and Kim?" A wave of cheers went up. "Yeah, great," he replied. After the song, he pimped an after-party at the Meadowlark and was done.
So So Glos, an enthusiastic Brooklyn four-piece on tour with Matt and Kim, played next. With guitar solos aplenty and a wailing frontman, the band didn't seem to impress the crowd with their straight-ahead neo-Dad rock. Have to hand it to the band, though, for hanging out by the merch booth in the Ogden lobby before the set talking to fans. Nice guys.
After the jump: Matt and Kim set list (I haven't found one for this tour yet, so if you can help fill in some blanks, drop a comment!)
Matt and Kim 09.24.10 | Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
I Wanna Good Old Fashioned Nightmare 5K Let Me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool, interlude) Cutdown Jesse Jane Lessons Learned Frank Lightspeed Spare Change Grand It's a Fact (Printed Stained) Silver Tiles Just a Friend (Biz Markie) Someday (not sure about this one!) I'll Take Us Home Cinders Turn This Boat Around Yea Yeah Better Off Alone (Alice DJ; interlude) Daylight
Critic's Notebook: - Overheard lots of drunk people fighting with each other about was standing in front of who. "That's bad etiquette!" one girl squawked, while the 6'2" guy in front of her pretended not to notice. I thought it was going to come to blows.
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- "Fuck you! Go home!" was the between-song shouts from a guy standing in the very, very back of the room. Wonder how he got the tickets?
- White people dancing is pretty awesome.
- The biggest sing-along of the night came during Matt and Kim's cover of "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie. Nicely done!
- The number of audience members who pranced onto the stage, did some sort of pose, weakly stage dove and crowd surfed grew as the night went on. At one point, a bouncer tried to grab a would-be diver, there was a short scuffle and the kid just fell into the crowd -- probably a more dangerous situation than if the crew would have just let him dive.