Matt & Kim are one of those bands with a live show that I wish I could take the energy from, bottle it up, and save it for a rainy day. There were a million shows going on that I had to see last night. From Twenty One Pilots to Blue October, I wanted to be at them all but I knew where my heart really wanted to be and that was smack dab in the middle of the crowd as I danced along to Matt & Kim so that’s exactly where I found myself. Sure, I was jealous at the people down the street witnessing Twenty One Pilot’s explosive live show and I would be lying if my FOMO (fear of missing out) wasn’t a bit high as I watching people check into the Blue October show on Facebook. Regardless, I knew I was where I needed to be.
Beach Goons were the sole opening band and were not only the prefect opener for the Thursday night show, but also lived up to their name in the most perfect way. Their forty minute set was full of songs that made the audience want to move and banter that had us all laughing. Self admittedly, this band only had about seventeen minutes of music and had to stretch it into a forty minute set. That can be a downfall for some opening acts and the audience can be easily turned off when the pauses between songs are deliberately long and awkward but, in the case of Beach Goons, it worked. Literally putting the “goon” in Beach Goons, this band was quirky, relateable and, well, fun. They had the audience laughing between songs but also had them listening as if to not miss a single note while playing through their quick almost skater-punk, beach-vibey tracks.
Even though everything seemed to be fun and games with this band, they are so much more than just a laugh-out-loud kind of group. Their music was flawless. As mentioned, it was this unique hybrid between skater-punk and pop music with a very California vibe to it. Think Fidlar meets, for lack of a better example, Matt and Kim. Fun and upbeat but with a little edge to it that made it even more infectious, I would be lying if I said this band didn’t instantly claim a spot on my daily playlist. Switching from English to Spanish on the drop of a dime was just the icing on the cake for this band. In a world that seems to be so split down the middle, it’s nice to know that, in the music scene, things are still completely welcoming and open. People didn’t care that the songs were in Spanish, they just wanted to dance to the infectious beats and that’s exactly what they did. I expect very big things from this trio and can’t wait to see them really take off.
There’s something about both Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums) that instantly makes you feel happy. Even without saying a word, there’s just something about their smiles and their aura that will lift all the weight off of you. Their fast paced set on Thursday night never lost the spark just as their smiles never seemed to leave their faces. Much like Beach Goons’ set, there was some downtown between songs but it wasn’t the awkward kind of downtime that I dread, it was actually fun and ended up being the moments of last night’s concert that I loved the most. From little dance parties between songs to just a very public conversation between Matt & Kim that was heard throughout the audience, personality reigned supreme and the jokes were on point. From Kim’s raunchy comments to Matt’s sometimes awkward responses, not much has changed about this band from what I remember from the first time I saw them years ago and that’s a fact that I absolutely adore about Matt & Kim.
Although the entire night was a great time and reminder of just how great this band is, it was Matt’s explanation of the camera live-streaming the audience to the screen behind the duo that had me feeling all the feels. He explained that this feed of live footage of the audience being shown as they played through ‘Grand’ was supposed to be a throwback of sorts. It was Matt & Kim’s way of paying homage to all the years spent playing house shows and playing from the floor of divey venues. They wanted to get the feel of being one with the audience and figured this would be the best way. It was definitely a touching sentiment but I felt it was somewhat unnecessary. No matter how large Matt & Kim gets, I feel like they have never lost their “realness” and have continued to be an extremely accessible band for all of their fans. It’s just one of the many elements of Matt & Kim that leaves them completely irresistible and always current.
Matt & Kim’s set flew by. It only took about forty minutes for them to breeze through the entire ‘Grand’ album before they continued on to play a good mix of other songs they have released. Regardless of what song they were playing, the audience was there dancing along to every beat and singing along to every word. For such a down to earth and real band, it was stunning to see just how big of an effect these two musicians have had on the lives of everyone in the Skyway Theatre last night. It was impossible not to feel the love that went from stage to audience and then back to the stage again.
From jokes that left the crowd nearly crying from laughing too much to the Powerpoint presentation to Kim flashing the audience at one point (true story) to the blow up dolls dancing through the air as they were tossed by audience members– last night was one of those “feel good shows” that I wish had never had to end.