There’s a reason that the word “energetic” is constantly used to describe Matt and Kim shows: They embody the definition with a crazed ferocity. It’s mind-boggling how just two people can transform an audience of a thousand from mellow attendees to frenzied fans. With nothing more than a drum-set, keyboard and two mics, the electropop hyper couple of Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino brought the house down at the Fox Theatre last Saturday with their infectious charm and dance-inducing grooves.
The Fox’s ability to simultaneously seem spacious and intimate allowed for all types of fan to enjoy Matt and Kim’s ecstatic showcase. Whether you’re a rambunctious fanboy who loves to get rowdy on the floor, or a mere head-nodder who would rather chill by the tables or railings, the Fox manages to accommodate most types of concert-goers. However, the majority chose the floor for this particular show because, c’mon, the spunky duo know how to throw a party — or concert. Openers the Thermals livened up the crowd with their catchy punk riffs and pounding bass lines. Although their songs began to tread on repetition, the Portland trio were still a saucy appetizer to the punchy main course.
Unfortunately, the meal would have to wait. In between sets, the crowd was treated to the DJ-stylings of Autobot, who makes up one half of Chicago-based Flosstradamus. His sets were far from treats though, as the samples and beats produced mere hip-sways and head-nods from the crowd on both of his drawn-out sets. With the exception of a bomb-ass beat sampling the opening tribal cry heard on “The Lion King,” the DJ’s mumbled shout-outs and attempts to bolster the bored crowd fell on deaf ears.
Like a summer school lecture, Autobot’s set eventually came to a much appreciated end. With the chorus of “Empire State of Mind” leading them out, the Brooklyn duo finally pounced out onto stage with fans screaming and jumping with satisfaction. Wasting no time, the show kicked off with Sidewalks opener “Block After Block,” with Matt’s electrifying keyboard jamming and Kim’s drum bashes amplifying the wave of jumping fans. The song’s finale led to an eruption of applause and screams, as the duo graciously greeted and thanked their fans for coming out that night.
The pair continued to bombard the crowd with upbeat vibes like the synth-driven “Red Paint” and fan-favorite “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare.” While occasionally allowing the crowd to catch their breath with the easygoing melodies of songs like “Northeast,” the break never lasted long as the duo dove into their next adrenaline-fueled explosion.
It’s rare to see a band have as much fun onstage as Matt and Kim. Whether Kim is standing on her drums shouting, Matt hopping around his keyboard or the smiles that never leave their faces, the duo always appear to wholeheartedly enjoy themselves. From making the audience create a rainstorm of balloons to Kim’s famous crowd-surfing booty dance, the astounding antics never ceased.
Alas, the freakalicous team had to run out of energy at some point. Closing with the heavy-hitting “Cameras” and their break-out single “Daylight,” the duo gracefully left the stage. Having already played most of their hits, their encore consisted of Kim pounding a marching band bass drum in rhythm to the duo’s songs played over the PA as Matt sang along with the help of the crowd. While this impromptu encore was a bit hackneyed and disappointing, it did not diminish Matt and Kim’s playful fan interaction and jubilant passion that made for one hell of an — here it is — energetic performance.