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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Concert Review: Matt & Kim at House of Blues

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM


A Matt & Kim concert is more than just a concert. Last night before a sold out crowd at House of Blues, the duo pulled out all the stops. We’re talking confetti and balloons, sing-a-longs and crowd-surfing. Playing on an elevated platform atop the House of Blue’s stages, singer-keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino displayed the kind of exuberance that makes you think they must be on some seriously good drugs. Not that we’re implying they’re not genuine or anything like that. Their banter didn’t at all seem scripted as they joked about everything from fanny packs to the male stripper movie Magic Mike, which Schifino said she had just watched on their day off.

Toward the end of the 90-minute show, Schifino admitted that she wasn’t sure she and Johnson could fill the spacious club on a Tuesday night. But she said she was shocked not only by the turnout but also by the crowd’s energy. Johnson was equally amped about the audience’s adoration. “Keep it up,” Johnson told the fans squished up against the front of the stage. “I’m feeding off your energy. I eat that shit for breakfast.” The Brooklyn-based duo played a bit of everything from its catalogue. And lest you think the band is some kind of trendy, overnight sensation, the synth-pop track “Silver Tiles,” which Johnson introduced as the first song they ever wrote, was just as jittery and danceable and fun as “Now” and “Let’s Go,” two terrific tunes from their new album, Lightning. A visual act with performance art sensibilities, Matt & Kim have always made good use of music videos. And while they didn’t show the original clip, Johnson introduced “Lessons Learned,” another set highlight, by talking about how he took his clothes off and walked around Times Square for the song’s music video. Throughout the night, they flashed arty close-ups of their faces on the giant video screen behind the stage and used a variety of strobe and LED lights to amplify their engaging stage show and synth pop sounds, creating the perfect performance art/pop-rock party.

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