With the one-hour show well underway, Matt Johnson shouted from the stage, “Wednesday night Delaware dance party. Lets [expletive] do this!”. Sure enough, the happy crowd obliged, dancing along, waving their arms and crowd surfing to the energetic dance rock of Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim.
Matt & Kim’s 2010 Spring college and festival tour began at the University of Delaware’s Trabant University Center, and was, in fact, their first time playing in Delaware. The campus room/venue quickly turned into a sauna with the 980-person capacity crowd, the majority of whom were fairly young. And not university young. I mean younger than UD students in attendance. Kim Schifino even felt the need to apologize as she hoped to refrain from further profanity and vulgarity after she realized some small children were in the audience. But not even the simmering heat and stuffiness of the room could keep everyone from looking completely immersed.
The headliner’s first few songs began with a fast tempo, pumping up the audience and, consequently, the mercury. In an attempt to get a breather, Matt announced the next song would be a slower one, the ironically titled “Lightspeed”. So, by my calculations, the show was faster than light. Some segues into recognizable hip-hop rhythms and stadium anthems (that “hey!” song) bolstered the momentum. But the heat, my God, the heat! At one point, Matt courteously tossed out some bottled water, encouraging the audience to “share it unless you have herpes”.
Arriving at the home stretch, Matt decided to add “5K” to the set on a whim, encouraged by the enthusiasm at hand. Immediately after, Kim ventured into the audience’s arms for a bit of crowd surfing, after which Matt expressed his gratitude for “returning her to me”. Another anthemic blast heralded the final song, and recognizable hit, “Daylight”. At this moment balloons were tossed about, arms flailed in the air, and several crowdsurfers made it over the front barrier with cameras in tow to capture the moment. With the show over, Matt and Kim didn’t head backstage but, instead, dashed into the buzzing crowd for a meet and greet; posing for photos and signing autographs for the smiling fans who gathered around.
Newark does not get much in the way of all-ages entertainment or bigger-name bands, so this generous act by Matt & Kim was a bonus. One by one they met their fans, providing mementos seared with their brand as joyful souvenirs of the night.
Photos by Sachyn Mital