Matt & Kim at the Metro

Matt & Kim's high-energy show graces the Metro

Matt & Kim


Metro, Chicago

In only a few years, Brooklyn natives Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino have become one of the most consistent acts in pop music today, following their very good self-titled 2006 debut with the stellar 2009 record Grand. Already their new album Sidewalks will be ready for release before this year is out; regrettably, I missed out on the listening party that’s being held at every show on their current tour for the new album between the opening of doors and the beginning of the show.

Chicago DJ The Hood Internet started the show off in crowd-pleasing form with a set of his hipster-friendly mashups, kicking off with a pretty excellent blending of LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great” with “Whoomp There It Is.” Over the next half hour, he spun remixes of “Float On” and “Billie Jean,” worked a bit of Soulja Boi into Peter Gabriel’s “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” and proved two indisputable truths; that the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” is unnerving in any musical medium and that R. Kelly’s “Ignition” goes well with pretty much anything. Closing with a crossover between Dead Prez and Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks,” Hood left to a pretty huge reaction; the venue filled in fast during his set and when Matt & Kim acknowledged the openers later in the show, he got a far bigger reaction than…

…The So So Glos, a power-pop act from Brooklyn that also traffics in the surf-rock sound that indie culture has been enamored with recently. Lead singer Alex Levine sounds remarkably like the frontman of the band he’s touring with, and the lack of originality doesn’t really end there; they’re fun enough, but the most memorable moment of their set wasn’t anything that belonged to them; rather, it was them covering Operation Ivy, a band they sound like the K-Mart version of at times. Otherwise, their set was a pretty forgettable affair. Also, a note: I made it through the entire summer without encountering the token Freebird guy at either shows or festivals, but he made his presence felt.

Before Matt & Kim came out, their roadies set up their lighting rig, which was pretty impressive; two arcs of panels resembling upside-down Js curling over center stage, with checkerboard lights. Then they rolled out a riser with the drum kit and keyboards that seemed far too small to contain two of the more energetic performers currently playing live music. As it turned out, this was a moot point; the duo would only spend about half the set actually on/on top of/anywhere near the riser and the rest running about.

Once they finally emerged, their energy was relentless. I was greatly impressed by their Lollapalooza set, but they somehow managed to top that with gusto and tear the roof off the Metro. For a band that’s released somewhere around 60 total minutes of music to date, they damn near played their entire discography, plus found time for covers of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Alice Deejay and Biz Markie. I’ve heard plenty of bands come to Chicago and talk about it being a favorite town of theirs, but one of the few times I’ve actually believed it was last night, because they received a reception usually reserved for the Biebers of the world. The crowd was hooked from start to finish, shouting along to “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare” and “Yea Yeah” as the tandem onstage screamed and grinned right back at them. They replicated a pair of stunts from their Lollapalooza set to greater returns, and scarier in the case of Matt scaling one of the lighting rigs  and hanging on to the ceiling façade above the stage. Kim also hopped into the audience to juke on hands, leading to a “We Want Matt” chant; he didn’t last long before simply collapsing and crowd surfing.

There isn’t much to say against what’s one of the best sets I’ve seen in Chicago this year, but there are minor contentions. The set was noticeably low on material from their upcoming album, which would have probably alleviated the need to play every song they’ve ever previously released. “Cutdown,” arguably the best song off Grand, loses some of its soaring quality live, and the lovely “Turn This Boat Around” didn’t need to get sped up for a live audience. You’d think that by the end of almost 90 minutes the crowd would have simmered down just a bit, but in closing with “Daylight” the band got their biggest pop of the entire evening. Exiting to the tune of “Empire State Of Mind,” the infinitely sprightly duo wasn’t content to simply head for the showers; both stuck around to give as many handshakes, high-fives and hugs as they could possibly muster.


I Wanna

Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare/Apache (Sugarhill Gang interlude)


Let Me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool cover)


Jesse Jane

Lessons Learned



Shimmy Shimmy Ya instrumental (Ol’ Dirty Bastard cover)

Spare Change


Silver Tiles

Just A Friend (Biz Markie cover)

Ready? OK.

It’s A Fact (Printed Stained)

I’ll Take Us Home/Be Faithful (Fatman Scoop interlude)


Turn This Boat Around

Yea Yeah

Better Off Alone (Alice Deejay cover)


Posted by Dominick Mayer on Sep 20, 2010 @ 11:11 am

matt & kim, the hood internet, show review, chicago, the so so glos, metro