Review / photos: Matt and Kim deliver a rapturous set at St. Petersburg's State Theatre
A capacity crowd at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg got their smile on at Matt and Kim on Friday night.
The Brooklyn duo of Matt Johnson on keyboards and Kim Schifino on drums are easily the happiest band in the world, and that joy is reflected in every note they play. Both Matt and Kim are not, by a long shot, the best musicians to ever form a band, but they don’t let that get in their way.
But no one goes to a Matt and Kim show because Matt and Kim are virtuosos. They go to have a good time — and that’s exactly what they got.
As soon as Matt and Kim hit the stage, the place went nuts. Everyone was waving their hands in the air while jumping up and down and screaming at the same time. This was one of the most energetic crowds to greet a band in the Bay area since, well, the last Matt and Kim show. The band has made many stops in Tampa over the last several years and has always been welcomed with open arms and a party atmosphere at their shows. This was their first show in St. Petersburg and the largest crowd they’ve drawn in the area to date.
What works for Matt and Kim is simplicity. Simple, danceable drum beats. Simple, catchy keyboard parts. Lyrics about the simple pleasures of life. And energy. Boundless energy.
While playing, Matt and Kim routinely leave the confines of their instruments to climb on them, or they’ll go to edge of the stage for high-fives and hugs from the crowd. At one point, Matt scaled to the top of their lighting rig. Later, Kim walked out above the crowd, their hands holding her up. Their exuberance can be seen on their faces as they play. Kim, for example, has this look on her face as she bashes away at the drums, like her head is about to burst and rainbows will shoot forth from her neck.
Songs such as Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare, Lessons Learned and Yea Yeah got the full house on the verge of exploding. Covers, such as Biz Markie’s Just A Friend and part of Europe’s The Final Countdown also made the set.
Toward the end of the night, Matt explained that the song I’ll Take Us Home was about coming home to Brooklyn after touring, but that the song is now about coming to Tampa and St. Petersburg, as the area has supported and loved them for so long.
They closed the night out with their breakthrough hit Daylight, saying that this song was for the people that had a bad day, week or year. The crowd had been more than into for about 90 minutes now, but this song was the tipping point. The crowd was drowning out the band; everyone was dancing and jumping around. It was pure bliss for Matt and Kim and everyone there.
— Gabriel Loewenberg, tbt*