Twerking, circle pits, the wave, confetti, balloons, crowd surfing, and inflatable sex dolls. Just another night with Matt and Kim.
The indie-pop duo of drummer Kim Schifino and keyboardist Matt Johnson have consistently won over crowds since the mid-2000s, but they hit an inflection point when Scifino tore her ACL at a festival appearance in Mexico in March 2017. They cancelled their remaining tour dates, but a torn ACL can’t stop them - they went straight to recording their next and latest album, Almost Everyday. The album was released just two hours after the end of their 9:30 Club show and is seen as a lyrical shift for the fun-loving duo. Lead single "Forever" is as catchy as it is straightforwardly pessimistic about how things are going in the world right now. But while some of their lyrics have a bit less youthful abandon, their live show is one of the most exuberant and fun experiences you'll ever get to take part in.
There's no doubt that Matt and Kim have fine-tuned their live show spectacle to bring the most smiles to people's faces. From the get-go, they were pretty explicit with their expectations. In their words, they wanted their live show to be like sex: hard, energetic, and ninety minutes long. To that end, there wasn’t a shortage of enthusiasm from the duo, and the crowd was quick to reciprocate with deafening cheers. Antics like Kim jumping onto her drum kit and screaming at the top of her lungs time and again and quick little dance party intermissions kept spirits high throughout the show. And before launching into their fist-in-the-air anthem "Now," they encouraged as much crowdsurfing as possible. In response, more than 30 or 40 people were hoisted into the air in the span of the four-minute song. Not bad.
When you go to a Matt and Kim show, you’re expected to leave your age at the door. The young and young at heart are all encouraged to take part in crowdsurfing, dance-off circles, and happy mosh pits as confetti, balloons, and blow-up sex dolls fly through the air. With the energy they displayed from start to finish, it was a surprise to see that the only moment they seemed to falter was during "Daylight," where the drum pads were badly-timed for a few brief, but noticeable seconds before getting back on track. But still, their dedication to giving fans a visceral and memorable show is almost unparalleled. As fans left the 9:30 Club in sweat (and blow-up dolls), there was one common and straightforward sentiment that summed it up pretty well: "That was fucking awesome."
Almost Forever is available now through FADER Label.
Opening for Matt and Kim first were Future Feats, a relatively new indie-pop band that combine the anthemic rock of U2 with the rollicking power chord riffs of Tokyo Police Club. Future Feats’ latest release is the single “Same Mistakes” through FADER Label.
Coincidentally, it was Tokyo Police Club that followed Future Feats as the second opener of the night. Those that have tracked Matt and Kim's rise in the late 2000s will likely be familiar with these indie rock stalwarts who built a lot of buzz on MySpace at the peak of the social network’s popularity. While not many bands can compete with Matt and Kim's energy, Tokyo Police Club are still as manic as ever on stage and their guitar hooks are still something that is uniquely theirs in the music world. Their latest release is the single “New Blues” through Dine Alone Records.