Matt and Kim House of Blues April 25, 2015
When was the last time you went to an awesome party? Like, a party that was actually fun, where all the music was great, everyone around you was having a blast, and you never wanted it to end? Well, if you saw Matt and Kim's House of Blues show this weekend, your answer is probably "Last Saturday night." Feeling more like the best house party ever than a concert, the on-and-off stage Brooklyn duo's contagious pleasure for their craft ensured a fiesta for the ages.
For those who are unfamiliar with Matt and Kim, they've been curating an innovative brand of indie music since 2006 by mixing elements of pop, electro, hip-hop, punk, rock and "Who gives a fuck?" Even with their unique sound, however, what makes this pair stand out from modern-rock monotony is an insanely punchy live show. Once the duo bounded onto the stage to a mashup of "Baba O'Riley" and "It Takes Two," Matt and Kim's energy did not go down until the lights went up.
Opening with "Overexposed," a fan favorite from 2012's Lightning,, Matt and Kim had absolutely no backdrop or set whatsoever for the first three songs, which only aided in drawing the entire audience's focus on the band's perfect combination of music and antics.
Kim is a powerhouse drummer who exudes as much natural talent as she does sex appeal. Banging on the drums with commanding authority, she stands on her kit, hypes the crowd, runs around the stage twerking, and swears like a sailor. Matt, the duo's keyboardist, is a melding of hot nerd and heartthrob class clown, telling ridiculous jokes between pounding his board (examples: "This song is about how Super Mario fucked up my life"; "This song is about the relationship that me and Kim have; meaning, that we do it.") Their chemistry together is undeniable. Their smiles are contagious.
Every few songs, the group played interludes of old school hip-hop and danced around like freaks. This kept the energy going, which wasn't even necessary, because the music itself was so enjoyable. This vibe they create of a funny, hyphy, slapstick world is what makes this band a party.
Kim made sure to let the crowd know that they had just played both Austin and Dallas, and that Dallas claimed to be the best audience in Texas. Unsurprisingly, the crowd booed with rage, as Kim kept goading the sea of people for more response before she assured them that, only a few songs in, they were "already popping off way better" than the Dallas crowd. Well played, Kim. Well played.
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The sound at House of Blues on Saturday was impeccable, even with a sold-out crowd. Regardless of where one was in the audience, instruments and vocals were perfectly mixed and completely clear.
There was an addition of a backdrop of visuals, mostly undershot camera angles of Kim pounding the drums and Matt maniacally playing his keyboard. After a mix of songs from Lightning and 2010's Cameras, the team played great renditions of "Make a Mess" and "Hoodie On" from their latest release, this year's New Glow. In a classic Matt and Kim move, they threw bags of unfilled balloons into the crowd, asking the audience to blow them up and release them on command. These vintage touches make the band feel, even as headliners who sell out House of Blues, like authentic club-kid party animals.
As Kim C-walked around the stage, Matt declared that they were going to play a song "by a man named Robert Kelly," before busting into a ridiculously rad version of "Ignition (Remix)." They followed this with four songs before doing a brief interlude of the much-loved "Good Ol' Fashioned Nightmare," then "Get It" and "Yea Yeah." They played four more songs -- including a bitchin' cover of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" -- before closing their regular set with their best-known track, "Daylight." The crowd, surely one of the most enthusiastic Houston has ever seen, experienced a mutual wave of happiness and disappointment, as they realized the show was coming to a close.
During the single-song encore of "It's Alright," the cause of the band's success was clear: their supporters either identify with the duo or want to be them.
If you are the type of person who likes things, any fun things, you will like this band and would absolutely love them live. If you, on the other hand, do not enjoy fun, this band is not for you. Championing the cause of "getting weird" and enjoying life, Saturday night's show let Houston become part of the party that is Matt and Kim.
Personal Bias: I wish they would have played the whole original version of "Good Ol' Fashioned Nightmare," since I have never been able to catch it live. Their brief, stripped-down interlude, even with a piece of Weezer's "Undone (The Sweater Song)" mixed in, just left me wanting more.
The Crowd: Diverse group of drama-free fun-seekers that were 100 percent up for a good time.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I wonder if they just like, go home and have amazing sex, like every night...I feel like she's my spirit animal."
Random Notebook Dump: In my next life, can I please be Kim?!? #girlcrush
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