Brooklyn based indie-party-dance-pop due Matt & Kim made a joyous return to Columbus on Wednesday night with a riotously infectious set that could bring a smile to even the most morbid of skeptics.
If you’ve ever been around someone that really really loves their job, then you can appreciate the Matt & Kim live experience, because they’re those kind of people – Deliriously happy and they really really want you to feel the same way.
On record Matt & Kim are decent, but they’re all too often lacking the firecracker ferocity you know that they have. But live, well, they’re a totally different beast. Embracing the two member dynamic, Matt & Kim are a powerhouse of manic energy that makes it almost impossible to dislike.
The duo start off the show with the adrenaline running high. “Block after Block,” and “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare” hit all the right notes, with Matt dividing his time between smiles, howls and handstands and Kim beating the living daylights out of her drums, all while wearing the face-splitting smile of a five year old on Christmas day.
The band peak during the faster songs from their three album catalog. “Cinders,” is a notable set highlight. Complete with an avalanche of balloons it’s disco-pop gold. It isn’t all break-neck brilliance though, and the band’s slower songs seem to serve as more of a break for the duo to catch their breath, with Matt remarking at one point that “This is the last slow song we’re going to play”. The crowd were welcoming enough to the slower material, but it was obvious what they really wanted.
It’s fair to say that Matt & Kim and Columbus have a special bond. Since their massive Summerfest shows of previous years and natural chemistry with CD102.5, Columbus’ crowds for Matt & Kim have always been a notch above, and thankfully, the duo have always reciprocated with a special affection and appreciation for the fans that come out to their shows in our city.
Throughout the set the LC was awash of hands and crowd surfing bodies unlike anything I’ve personally witnessed at the venue. In fairness, with Kim stood atop her drums whipping the crowd in to a frenzy, it’s hard not to feel like jumping up and down to dance-pop hits like “Cameras,” and “Lessons Learned”.
And while it’s been a few years since the duo performed in Columbus, the show hasn’t changed that much. Balloons are tossed out and confetti rains on the likely expectant crowd, while Kim dances above the crowd later in the set. Planned and well executed? Perhaps, but good lord is it fun to watch and it makes Matt & Kim an absolute must see band.
Matt & Kim’s music won’t change the world, but really, it’s not supposed too. Matt & Kim are here to make you love that you’re alive, and if massive pop hooks, face-punching smiles and caffeine-infectious melodies aren’t enough to do that, well, I’m not sure what will.
Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.