People always ask me who’s left to see on my bucket list and honestly it’s getting harder and harder to think of any. There’s always those stragglers that announce a show in the Twin Cities and I have that thought of, “Dang! I never thought I’d see them… Can’t miss this!” but that doesn’t really mean they are on my bucket list. One band that’s been hanging in my bucket list is Matt and Kim so when they announced a First Avenue mainroom show, I just knew I couldn’t miss it. I had so many expectations as to how their show would be. I’ve seen the videos, heard the hype — hell, it almost felt like I had seen them before– but last night was finally my chance to cross this duo off my diminishing bucket list.
Kicking off the night was Canadian group Tokyo Police Club. Honestly it had been years since I had listened to these guys but within just a couple of songs I was carried into a world of nostalgia and it truly felt as if nothing had changed. Their upbeat and infectious music flooded the sold out venue and a hint of charm and a whole lot of conviction. Although there wasn’t anything super exciting about their movement (or lack there of) on stage, there was a still an electric sense of energy that was impossible to ignore. Vocalists/ bassist David Monks had this charm about him as he sang into the microphone in the center of the stage. I honestly don’t know how to put it into words but there was just this sense of humbleness that radiated from him and the rest of the band. As for my nostalgia, there was new music! Tokyo Police Club played their new single “New Blues” that will be released this week, and they are planning a new album release this fall.
As much as my friends and I were enjoying their set, it was clear that majority of the audience was more interested in drinking and getting amped for the headlining set than pay attention. Some bands may lose a bit of their spark when this happens but not Tokyo Police Club. They continued on with their forty minute set and never let the roaring conversations of the crowd deter them from playing with precision and energy.
After their set, David rushed to the merch table. Is this notable to you? Probably not. But to me, this said everything about the band that needed to be said. This band is hustling, and has been for years, and it’s honestly humbling to watch. After giving him a couple of minutes, my friends and I went to the merch table so they could buy t-shirts (they were definitely at the show more for Tokyo Police Club than Matt and Kim). I watched as they interacted with the singer in the most down to earth possible way. After buying the shirts, David offered them the two beers that were sitting on the merch table. “Some very nice guy gave us these but we have so much beer in the green room. If you want them, they’re yours!” Can we just talk about how cute that is. Buy two t-shirts get two beers? Regardless, it just added a whole new side to this band that I already adored.
You could feel the anticipation in the air as the time inched closer to 9:15, the start time for Matt and Kim. As the screen hiding the stage rolled into the ceiling, the crowd completely lost it and instantly turned into a sweaty dance pit before the two band members even took the stage. As soon as Matt and Kim were spotted taking the stage, the screams turned deafening and it was damn near impossible not to get lost in the excitement of it all. The duo wasted no time and instantly jumped into their opening song, “It’s Alright”.
I know I said that Tokyo Police Club’s set was energetic and infectious but Matt and Kim truly took it to a different level (as I had assumed they would). Even though Kim was behind the drumkit and Matt behind the keyboard, neither of them seemed tied down to their instruments and throughout the set both of them would leave their spots in order to dance around the front of the stage. With multiple dance breaks throughout the twenty song set (followed up by a two-song encore), Matt and Kim truly knew how to get the crowd going and get them moving along. Even though their music already has this element about it that demands you get up and start grooving along, the addition of the giant smiles on the performer’s faces and the endless amounts of energy just added a bit more to this already over the top band in the best way possible. There was new music from their upcoming album “Almost Everyday” that’s coming out in May. The audience becomes a vital part of their show. Balloons were tossed in the crowd for them to inflate, the room was divided to create a gap
Matt and Kim’s set was truly enjoyable and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a smile on my face nearly the entire time. Towards the end of the set my friend and I couldn’t contain it anymore and we shuffled ourselves into the center of the dance pit that had opened up. This is a rare occurrence for me especially on the Monday night of what’s turning into a full week of shows and late nights. But there was something about the energy and the electronic indie music that made us go up in crowd and get a little sweaty.
Crossing a band off my bucket list is always a refreshing feeling. Being able to cross that band off with a smile on my face and knowing I just saw a hell of a show is even more refreshing.