February 11th was a night of firsts for indie rock duo Matt & Kim. It was their first time playing a live show in the U.S. since completing a three week stint in Australia, and it was their first time ever performing in Hawaii. “We are so happy to be here, Hawaii,” Matt gushed after he and Kim burst out onto the outdoor stage at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower in Oahu. The duo from Brooklyn, New York couldn’t have chosen a better time to play in Hawaii.
Taking the stage a couple hours after sunset, Matt & Kim quickly worked up a sweat in the humidity as the ever-smiling and perpetually happy couple ran through an hour-long set of songs from all three of their albums, including “Light Speed” off their self-titled debut, and “Silver Tiles” from their most recent November 2010 release Sidewalks. The night was without a doubt a treat not only for Matt & Kim, but for their islander fans as well, all of whom were enthused to be seeing some of the first-ever live performances of songs off of Sidewalks. Each song was not without a humorous introductory story from Matt, who most notably recounted the nude muse who inspired their much buzzed about music video for “Lessons Learned”, in which Matt & Kim strip down in New York City’s Times Square.
The duo are known for having a contagiously peppy stage presence that was made known almost immediately as Kim leaped atop her drum kit and Matt kicked and thrashed from behind his keyboard. The pair also took turns randomly running to the front of the stage in between songs to give the front row high fives. “We fucking love doing this!” Kim exclaimed at one point, which is evident not only in their party of a live show, but also in their quirky, attention-grabbing music videos, including “Cameras” during which they get into an epic fist fight.
With such an unpredictable duo as Matt & Kim, one never knows what they might have up their sleeves, especially with this being their first U.S. show for 2011. In this case, Matt & Kim kicked things off by tossing handfuls of deflated balloons into the crowd, which were soon inflated and released into the air. The two also orchestrated audience sing-a-longs for songs such as “Yea Yeah” and “Lessons Learned”. Kim also performed a very unconventional crowd surf by climbing out into the middle of the crowd and standing in the middle to do a “booty dance.”
Between the funny stories and the dance party hits, it seemed all too soon when Matt announced there were only two and half songs remaining. Then again, considering the heart and soul the two have poured into their energetic performance, it’s a wonder they can maintain the energy for as long as they have. The evening wrapped up with covers of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and Alice Deejay’s “Better off Alone” before Matt & Kim performed their hit single “Daylight”. Matt then hopped down into the sweaty, bubbly crowd to pose for photos and give autographs, proving to be just as friendly and likeable as he appears on stage.
Matt & Kim are set to play the Stone Pony in New Jersey on March 20 before embarking on a European tour. The duo will also make an appearance at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington on May 28.