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Review: Matt & Kim at the Ogden, 06/21/11


I did not have a good time at Matt & Kim. Not to say that nobody did. There were certainly members of the crowd who seemed to enjoy themselves, their excitement worth two hands in the air. But, in the eloquent words of a girl I was walking behind as I exited Ogden Theater, "It's like, excuse me, get the fuck out of my way. That's how you play the excuse me game." And she demonstrated how another girl swayed her elbows around the tightly packed crowd, repeatedly hitting her in the gut.

I empathized. In about three hours, I had been elbowed in the face by a sweaty man, had water purposely spilled on me by a girl who then spent the rest of the set performing what looked like fallatio on the bottle, and my feet stomped on by countless folk trying to shove their way into the packed crowd on the main floor. A guy who tried a couple times to shove his way closer to the stage said that the girl in front of him had elbowed him hard in the balls twice -- once is an accident; twice is dancing with malicious intent.

Sometimes, people are just douchebags, but the space contributed to it. The Ogden was near full capacity but the sound was fucking atrocious in the back, sides and balcony. You had to stand closer to the stage in order to not have your eardrums pummeled by bass-way-too-heavy noise. What does that mean? A crush of people upfront who eventually get pissed off and act like selfish assholes.

Not that it was Matt or Kim's fault. The Brookyln-based duo danced onto stage and opened with "Block After Block," both of them oozing childlike enthusiasm. Kim banged on her drum set with the gleeful (though dare I say, slightly glazed) look. Matt led handclaps and kept repeating how much he loved the crowd and always had a great time in Denver.

After a few crowd-surfers attempted (and failed), Matt instructed and cheered on the crowd as they sent three people from near the stage, all the way to back. Matt shot confetti into the air. Kim walked on hands in the crowd. They were fun, sounded good enough, and were generally the happiest people you've ever seen.

The majority of the set came from Matt & Kim's new album, Sidewalks, which the crowd seemed to know well. Old standbys like "Daylight" and "Yea Yeah" made appearances, too. There were a lot of sex jokes, mostly revolving around how much Matt and Kim wanted to bang each other, which were at once sweet, sickening, and a little uncomfortable since the show was 16+ and definitely leaned toward the young side.

Despite being on their fifth album (on big-deal indie label Kill Rock Stars to boot), not many in the crowd seemed familiar with The Thermals. They sounded great but their music, while usually having a head-bop-able melody, has lyrics about politics and religion. It seemed a weird choice to go with Matt & Kim.

Opening DJ, Autobot of Flosstradamus, focused on Top 40 and pop classics. He had a weird tick where he'd feel the need to attribute all the samples, which got pretty tiring, pretty quickly but kept on throughout his sets -- he was on before The Thermals and after while Matt & Kim were setting-up, which was a considerate touch. (Example: "Shout out to Adele." One minute later. "Shout out to The XX for the remix.")


Personal Bias: I'd probably not put Matt and Kim on at a party, but I'd enjoy it if someone did (and would probably sing along with the chorus). By The Way: Near the end of the set, Kim asked the men in the crowd to take off their shirts, and many of them did. Random Detail: The audience knew most of the words to Lil Jon's "Get Low" when Autobot played it.

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