After a knee injury that sidelined drummer Kim Schifino for the better part of a year Brooklyn-based dance pop tour de force Matt and Kim made their return to live music this spring to promote their upcoming record Almost Everyday, due out May 4. While the duo admits the year away from their adoring fans, the Scream Team, was one of the saddest they can remember they are still masters of live performance and two of the most charismatic people on the planet Earth.
I caught up with their full nation tour once it hit the East Coast and saw them perform at both Philadelphia’s Electric Factory and at Brooklyn New York’s newest gem Brooklyn Steel, and to be honest they haven’t lost a step. It did stick out that Schifino didn’t walk out onto the outstretched palms of their fans in the first few rows to perform her once customary dance routine. But that can be just as easily explained away as a casualty of new live show as opposed sign of concern for the knee because she certainly had no problem cutting a rug up on stage and while standing on her bass drum.
The pair were just absolutely electric in both Philadelphia and their hometown New York City, breaking out a bevy of hits including “Now,” “Daylight,” “Cameras,” “Get It,” and “Hey Now” among others. As well as an encore of their smash hit “Let’s Go” which most remember from it’s placement in a late 2000’s Verizon Campaign.
While Electric Factory’s sound equipment didn’t feel like it had everything it needed to accomodate the often loud and bass heavy Matt and Kim set Brooklyn Steel had more than either venue you needed in terms of sound. But sound issues aside Matt and Kim gave their Philadelphia fans a top notch show in their first appearance in the City of Brotherly love in several years.
However, a return to a friendly market is never quite like a homecoming and Matt and Kim really tore the roof off of the Bushwick Venue that Matt Johnson claimed was only half a block from his brother’s house. Matt and Kim formed while living in Williamsburg and they played their first shows at the hip house parties of the neighborhood so coming back to the area and selling out it’s biggest venue like conquering hero’s is a really big deal. .
In so many ways Matt and Kim are a band that never should have garnered this type of success. They got in late only starting to pick up their instruments while in college, they blossomed quickly becoming an in demand party band in New York after less than a year of gigging, and they aren’t terribly musically talented. Their charisma and energy is undeniable and I am a huge fan of theirs having seen them seven times 4 states, but lets face it, we aren’t exactly talking about radiohead here. They make upbeat danceable songs with good bass drops and rely on their unmatched relatability both on stage and off to draw in the crowds.
Such was definitely the case in both Philly and New York where they just bonded with the crowd on a different level than most bands do. Matt and Kim are the sort of band that the fans can feel like, like them personally. But even more importantly the fans want Matt and Kim to like them back. They aren’t just your favorite band, they are you super sweet best friends that you don’t want to disappoint.
So in a way, it’s good that their tunes are so simple and easy to get. Music can still be an escape and it’s great that there is a band so steadfastly resolved to bring that to people on a national stage because not all music needs to push the envelope. Sometimes music can just be fun, relatable, and downright cute.
It was so endearing when Johnson pointed out that his sister-in-law was crowd surfing during “Now” at Brooklyn Steel. But what really stole the show, even more than Kim’s tremendously talented rear end, was Matt and Kim’s post show kiss after selling out the biggest venue they had ever played in their home borough.
Matt and Kim were joined by Tokyo Police Club on the nationwide tour.