Matt and Kim
Skully’s Music Diner, Columbus, February 27
by Dorian S. Ham

Ever been around someone who really loves his job? I mean, really, really loves what he does. The first reaction is suspicion but then next thing you know you get caught up in the wave of enthusiasm. Matt and Kim really love their job, which right now is touring in support of their recently released second album, Grand.

But before they could hit the stage, Hollywood Holt, a Chicago-based MC, kicked off things in a grand fashion. No one knew who Holt was before he hit the stage, but from the second he launched into his intro, there was no doubt that he’ll be one to watch. A potent blend of punk rock energy and booming 808 and electro beats with a generous sense of self-depreciating humor, Holt rocked the crowd so hard you’d think that he was the headliner. I mean who can’t love a man who has a song all about mopeds?

By the time Matt and Kim took the stage it was hard to believe that the audience could get any more fevered. Taking the stage to the sounds of Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn Go Hard,” a blend of goofy swagger and barely contained energy, they hit the ground running. From the second they sat at their instruments (Matt on keyboards and vocals and Kim on drums) it was like a box of firecrackers went off in the crowd. All you could see were arms flailing, people jumping and asses awkwardly wiggling.

Playing songs from Grand, their self-titled debut and even dipping back to their demo, To/From, the duo gave every song a blast of contagious energy and played every moment with Kool-Aid smiles on their faces. They even mixed in a few instrumental hip-hop covers as transitions in the set. Technically, Matt and Kim won’t impress anyone with their skills—imagine if the White Stripes’ Meg White worked both drums and the keyboard—but for what they do it really doesn’t matter. Make no mistake, songs like “Daylight,” “Yeah Yeah” and “Silver Tiles” killed live, but technical prowess isn’t the goal. They just want the crowd to have fun. Mission accomplished.