Saturday Night: Matt & Kim At The HPMA Showcase

Matt & Kim Bud Light Outdoor Stage August 7, 2010

As the sun went down and the moon came up on the crowd at the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase main stage, a palpable sense of relief settled over everyone. The long, hot day was over and the throngs were preparing for Brooklyn's hyperkinetic Matt & Kim to take the stage in the corner of the lot at Washington Avenue and Silver.

The duo spent the previous day playing in front of thousands upon thousands at Lollapalooza in Chicago, before curating a DJ set in the Windy City later that night. Reviews from that show were extremely glowing. The band played a smaller stage three years ago at the festival, but came back this time around to command thousands on the ground to dance their asses off to their energetic live set.

Judging from what we heard about the Lolla show, Houston got the same one albeit the band wasn't playing around heavyweights like fellow 2007 small-stage alum Lady Gaga obviously. Even on the relatively small showcase stage, the band played just like they were in front of 40,000 people, yet they still gave off that sweaty basement show feel that is the hallmark of their live shows.

From song one, the band had everyone bouncing and altogether freaking the hell out. The band has a pronounced hip-hop feel, from their intro music to the crazed syncopation of drummer Kim Schifino, and Matt Johnson's crazed ass-shaking on keyboards.

You couldn't help but feel happy anywhere near the crowd. Everyone was all smiles, and after a day of baking on Houston's concrete, that's all you need to come down. The Alice DeeJay cover was pretty stellar as well.

"Yea Yeah" had people actually pogoing house-party style and the top of the crowd was all balloons and beach balls going back and forth. Some members of the Press' staff were the ones getting down most seriously. It was a good release for everyone who helped put on the event too, marking the end of a long process.

All in all, the show was a workout for everyone. When "Daylight" kicked in after a short cover of Europe's "The Final Countdown," the asphalt felt like it might buckle under and create a sinkhole. At the end of the set, both Matt and Kim both jumped directly into the crowd to take pictures with the moistened attendees.

How many other bands do that? Most would already be halfway out of town, or three backstage beers down, by the time both band members had finished meeting with everyone.

In fact, later Saturday night, Johnson and Schifino were sitting under a canopy in front of Walter's On Washington, taking in our city's seamy, boozy underbelly with some of us.

Personal Bias: Try not to getting a little sunny feeling in your soul when you hear "Daylight," any time during the day or night.

The Crowd: Everyone you could imagine was getting down, from the younger set to the older folks left over from Jonathan Tyler's blues-rocking set right before Matt & Kim.

Overheard In the Crowd: "They ran out of tequila and whiskey. I don't wanna drink any more white wine. I mean I will, but I don't want to."

Random Notebook Dump: So Kim is like a chick Keith Moon...

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty