Even though I’m a relatively young person, sometimes I do feel quite old. When I went to go see Matt & Kim on Tuesday, I felt old.
Well, there was no way I could match the energy of the couple duo, and the constant pushing by the teenagers behind me could not have annoyed me more. It was like we were at a Jay-Z show.
The odd, but intriguing lineup started with one of Seattle’s best hip-hop acts Champagne Champagne. Matt actually proclaimed that Champagne Champagne was his “favorite Seattle band, even more than Nirvana!”
I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying that, but Champagne Champagne are surely one of the best Seattle has to currently offer.
Mixing hip-hop and electro, Champagne Champagne is what Seattle is all about these days, and the sweaters also add to the local vibe. Quite literally, the band shed a total of 5 layers of clothing, and 3 of which were Pearl Dragon’s denim jacket, his sweater, and button-up shirt. Underneath all those layers actually, he was sporting his own band merchandise.
As the trio rhymed their way through an enjoyable setlist, they engaged the crowd with their familiar two-way chant.
“Champagne Champagne!” The guys would shout.
And the crowd would reply wildly, “Champagne Champagne!”
After Champagne Champagne finished their set, the positively unstoppable math rock band Fang Island took the stage, adorned with a plethora of Halloween paraphernalia, even though it was over a month early for the holiday decor.
Fang Island played through most of the songs off their critically-acclaimed debut, but honestly it seemed to drag on, as the crowd was waiting (not-so-patiently) for Matt & Kim. And most of Fang Island’s songs contain little lyrics and were at least 5 minutes long of pure, loud jamming.
Fang Island’s raw energy made for a really good live set, they just didn’t have a lot of range within the songs.
With one more intermission to go, the roadies came out and literally took everything off the stage. All the amps and mics and guitar stands – gone. Instead they wheeled out a platform with Kim Schifino’s drumkit stocked with an arsenal of drum sticks and Matt Johnson’s keyboard and microphone.
With such an easy set-up, Matt & Kim stepped out on stage frantically, both giving rounds of high-fives to people in the front row. Starting off with the ecstatic “I Wanna” off their second album Grand, Matt & Kim put on a fantastic show – one that seriously made Tuesday not seem like a Tuesday.
Matt & Kim’s happiness and energy was infectious, and it was impossible not to smile a long with Kim’s constant megawatt grin.
She was so excited that she was breaking drum sticks at an alarming rate. She beat the symbols so hard that you could see the bits of wood flying off them before she’d toss the broken stick behind her and grab another one from the bag hanging off her floor tom.
“Lessons Learned” was one of my favorite moments of the night, when the band first instructed the crowd, “you just have to sing da da da da. That’s it!”
“Ladies, you never want to see your ass bouncing from behind,” Kim advised us all, in reference to the music video for “Lessons Learned,” where the two of them walked through Time Square and stripped down to their skivvies. And then, because he’s a guy, Matt said guys, we always want to see their ass bouncing from behind, or something like that.
Along with the broken drum sticks, as I stood off to the side, I could see the speakers stacked adjacent to the stage shaking back and forth, and the floor had easily turned into something close to a trampoline.
“Okay, so I want all of you to take these balloons and blow them up. Then throw them way into the air, along with your dignity!” Matt shouted as Kim tossed balloons around the full room. Later on, since so many of the balloons ended up on Kim’s drums, Matt instructed us to pop the balloons. It was like a giant firecracker exploded by dozens of people.
The set was half songs off Grand, half songs off their self-titled debut, a couple of covers (I’ll get to that in a minute), and the nice addition of “Silver Tiles” off the upcoming Sidewalks out November 2. In fact, right when the doors opened, we got to hear the entirety of Sidewalks over the loudspeaker as part of the tour-long listening party.
The pre-show listening party definitely added to the whole experience, seeing that people obviously wanted to hear a lot of their old favorites, like “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare,” “Cinders” and of course “Daylight” as the closing song.
Now about those covers. When I saw Matt & Kim play just over a year ago, I remember them playing a cover of “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie, and sure enough they played it again as a hilarious sing-along. Even though I’m pretty sure a lot of the room wasn’t nearly old enough to know the original song. What was even funnier still, we got a cover of “Better Off Alone” by Dutch dance pop group Alice Deejay (now that I looked up the song again, I realize that it’s only about 12 years old, but still), and again I’m almost positive all the people in the bar were the ones who sang along to that one.
Way to get the crowd going, Matt & Kim – pull out some obscure 90s Europop song! I’m not being facetious, because only a band with as much blistering excitement on stage as Matt & Kim could pull that off.
Surely I will be hard up to have a more fun Tuesday night for awhile.