Matt & Kim at the Culture Room, October 14 | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Matt & Kim at the Culture Room, October 14

View 29 eye-melting photos from the Matt & Kim show in a slideshow here.

Matt & Kim
with Donnis and Fake Problems
at the Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Better than: Joining the Babysitters Club and taking a bunch of 11-year-olds to a concert field trip... Oh, wait.

The Review:
Once keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino took to their

raised platform, surrounded by a tiled, animated backdrop, and "Where Brooklyn At" fittingly blaring through the speakers -- the keyboard punks brought a full-on, take-no-prisoners dance party to Culture Room on Thursday.

All-ages shows midweek in Fort Lauderdale usually have a really large unforeseen perk: They're usually not all ages. Happy-go-lucky tweens as young as 10 were at last night's show. Was this a Jonas Brothers concert?

The youthful crowd roared and cheered, surfed, dodged balloons adorned with Matt & Kim cartoon faces, and danced to a broad selection of favorites from their first two albums -- including "5K," "Yeah Yeah," and "Lessons Learned," with the voices in the room filling in for Kim's vocals. Fierce covers of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend," Europe's "The Final Countdown," and Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone" also figured in.

Kim smiled so big, her entire face seemed to have been taken over by teeth -- and this was no Polaroid pose. She was genuinely happy to be there -- as she should be, considering their brand of pixie-stix pop. She felt so much raw energy from the audience that she decided to really test her power, God style. Instead of opting for traditional crowd surfing, she thought it best to "crowd walk," literally lifting each leg and waiting for a fan's hand to prop it up as she walked across the audience, no doubt amazed at how strong her fans really were.

Matt & Kim left no stone of that stage unturned, as Matt did handstands (which looked more like keg stands) while he played, Kim stood up on her stool and climbed around, and they both looked so genuinely happy to be there that jaded audience members half-thought they were on something. But they're just really happy people, folks.  

Opener Fake Problems resembled a Jo Bros/Nickelback hybrid, tinged with tiny doses of surfer rock suitable for hip grabbing and subtle gropage. While vocalist Chris Farren definitely worked the crowd the best he knew how, the band's youthful song topics left much to be desired for the older set, and we even heard one person -- a definite Matt & Kim enthusiast -- mention, "Fake Problems? Their problems are very real."
Donnis, who we spoke to earlier this week, squirted water on the crowd during "Mo' Fire" as he sampled Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three's "The Roof is on Fire," and we definitely got participation points when we all raised our hands and waved them in the air but caught only every seventh word out of his mouth. This could've had to do with his mouth being too close to the mic or nerves, but it was a real shame, considering his rapidly growing following and unmistakable energy.

Our only qualms about the night? There was no encore, and though Matt & Kim ended with a cheerful message to the audience, they finished their set with a song we'd hoped they'd started with: "Daylight." Once they left the stage, a few stragglers waited patiently for them to return as Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" hit the speakers, but we have a hunch Matt & Kim
know a thing or two about curfews.  

Critic's Notebook
Personal bias: I have a soft spot for happy music. Overzealous tweens? Not so much.
The crowd: Tweens, teens, 20-somethings, hipsters, 30-somethings, and parents.
Overheard in the crowd: From a 21-year-old Matt & Kim fan: "I'm so glad I didn't shower. I'm getting so sweaty right now."
Random detail
: Made friends with some really tall kids, which granted me the luxury of
some personal "block out the riffraff" bodyguards once each band took to the stage.

Set Lists
Fake Problems

"For the kill"
"Overdo It"
"Mo' Fire"
"Dark Side"
"Eat You Alive"
"Outta Here Medley (Loonies to Blow)"
"Smoke and Drive"
"Pumped Up Kicks"
"I Made It"

Matt & Kim
---first song (couldn't hear it b/c we were trapped in the chaos)
"Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare"
"Jump On it" (Sir Mix-A-Lot cover)
"Let me clear my throat" (DJ Kool cover)
"Lessons Learned"
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya" (Wu-Tang Clan cover)
"Grand" (instrumental)
"It's a Fact"
"Silver Tiles"
"Just a Friend" (Biz Markie cover)
"I'll Take us Home"
medley with new song
"Turn this Boat Around"
"Yeah Yeah"
"Do You Think You're Better Off Alone" (Alice Deejay cover)