Monday, June 27, 2011

Concert Review | Matt and Kim at The Pageant in Saint Louis

Photo by Sarah Cochran

Yes, there were balloons. And confetti. But, I want to talk about the balloons. They didn't fall from the ceiling; they weren't even pre-blown. They were tossed out into the audience by Matt and Kim, in their flimsy, rubber state, all multi-colored and new (well, I'm hoping they were new). They were given life in seconds, and before you knew it, they were everywhere. Bouncing around in the pit, a perfect match to Matt and Kim's music.

They were needed.

Don't mistake this for negativity, because it's not. But, let's face it -- nothing about Matt and Kim's music is serious. The people blowing their newly tossed balloons were probably in their most serious state of the evening while...blowing, not for the 80-minute set that Matt and Kim delivered. No, that was mostly like eating a big piece of cotton candy: the songs dissolved on your tongue.

The balloons existed because they represented what Matt and Kim's performance was all about: not thinking too much and getting away from your serious life for just a bit. In some ways, that's what every concert should be -- to have a moment for yourself, or a group of friends, and not think about an Excel spreadsheet or some God-awful report. When I go to a concert, I want to feel something -- joy, emotion, whatever. Just do something that makes me want to stand up, or feel chills down my spine.

So yeah, I did a lot of smiling and laughing when Matt and Kim came out sprinting and grinning to start the show. They entered the stage to the tune of Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," a choice that got the crowd all rowdy and in the mood. Matt, with his Mr. Rogers sweater was sort of Gumby-like with his movements; Kim, on the other hand, looked like she had just done a round of shake weights (ie, she looked like she could and would kick everyone's ass).

During their 80 minutes on stage, they wasted little time doing whatever they pleased to keep the folks who had paid to see them happy. Kim stood triumphantly on her drum kit (and walked on the audience's hands in the pit), while Matt shouted out things like "I fucking love Budweiser" and "Kim, I love your itty-bitty-titties!” I'm sure a lot of that was staged, but whatever. It worked.

Photo by Louis Kwok

As for the actual music being played, I would be telling you a lie if anything but the main-set closer, "Daylight," stood out. Maybe that's because Matt sings in such a register that everything seems so fucking happy that it's all one big song and party. I don't know.

All I know is this: if you go see Matt and Kim, do your best to play along. Because it's better to just believe that there are musicians out there like them who are really that amped up about what they do. And for that, the world is a better place.

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