Matt and Kim at Marquee Theatre 6/14/11

Matt and Kim 

Marquee Theatre 
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I've been told time and time again that I need to see Matt and Kim live. I almost made it happen last year, but their Clubhouse Music Venue show sold out before I could get tickets. From friends and reviews, I gathered that the concert was a little uncomfortable because so many people were packed into a hot, sold out show, but all in all it was a good time.

Marquee Theatre holds roughly twice as many people as The Clubhouse, so it seemed like a good place to check out Matt and Kim for the first time. Don't get me wrong -- I love smaller venues but know from firsthand experience that The Clubhouse tends turns into a sauna during sold out summer shows.

I went in with high expectations, which is always a dangerous idea, but somehow Matt and Kim took it to a whole new level. I was expecting maybe 800 people to show up and have a lukewarm reaction, but The Marquee was near capacity, full of fans eager to clap, sing, dance, and crowd surf.


Drummer Kim Schifino was also surprised by the crowd's overwhelming reaction. "This is fucking crazy. We were here eight months ago and when they asked us to come to this venue I was like, there's no way that many people will come out. But you did, and on my fucking birthday!"

If I didn't know better, I would think Kim was in high spirits just because it was her birthday. Check out any Matt and Kim music video or review, and you will quickly find out that Kim is a perpetually smiling firecracker. For her to spend her birthday performing in Tempe was surprising, but it was easy to see why she chose our city.

There's something about Matt and Kim that makes the crowd go crazy. Quite honestly, I've never seen such a wild audience at The Marquee. Did our water supply get contaminated with a shipment of Prozac or something? Hutch Harris of The Thermals also took note of this phenomenon, saying Tempe was their best crowd yet on their two-week tour. It may have just been a nicety, but now that I know that such a reaction is possible, my expectations for Phoenix audiences grew tenfold.

The audience erupted during "I Wanna," with some people crawling over each other to get closer to the stage. "You're going to make this one hell of a memorable birthday," Kim said, standing on top of her drum kit that was accented by a homemade Happy Birthday poster.

Matt spent the day walking around Tempe, although it wasn't the best day for it. He added that heat means nothing to Tempe, but he wished he could have taken all his clothes off to walk around like he did in the "Lessons Learned" video. He said February in Times Square isn't the best time to walk around naked. 

Matt encouraged the crowd to sing if they knew the words, but if they didn't, Kim assured them that repeating "da da" was all they needed to know. Kim's portion of the song ended up overpowering Matt's.

While playing the song, Kim stood on her drums, pointed the mic to the crowd, and said, "I need to hear you guys." The audience gave an overwhelming response, and when the song ended, Kim thanked them for making her birthday "fucking awesome." A surprised Matt said, "I think they can hear you all the way to Flagstaff."

Kim asked the crowd to blow up balloons for "It's a Fact (Printed Stained)." 

"If you see one floating around, fucking grab it. You can also steal one," she said. Matt wanted the crowd to go crazier than they have on any other night, and they did. The audience continued playing with balloons during the next few songs.

Another one of Matt's favors was asking the crowd to clap before the band's rendition of Alice DeeJay's "Better off Alone." The song may have been overkilled ten years ago, but the crowd loved it. It was the first of a few covers, including Europe's "The Final Countdown" and Biz Markie's "Just a Friend," during which Matt noted, "Damn you're loud." Kim abandoned her drum kit and raced around the stage with beer in hand, dancing, singing, and reaching into the audience.

Matt pointed out that Kim hates the traditional birthday song, so they replaced it with 50 Cent's "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday." The crowd danced and shouted the lyrics (Matt's reaction: "And that's why I love Tempe").  Kim had a shout out of her own, dedicating "Silver Tiles" to fans who have seen them before. "If this is your first time, it will be your song from now on."

Kim prompted the crowd to "booty drop" for "Wires." 

"I don't care as much about singing, but I wanna see some booty dropping. I'm watching and I'm judging," she said. 

"If Kim can drop it low, then I gotta drop it low," Matt replied. Sure enough, the crowd spread out a bit to accommodate so many people dancing.

Part of Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand" played while Matt showered the crowd with confetti and drum sticks as Kim booty dropped. "Alright, I hate skipping that song, but we needed a party break," Matt said.

Rather than beating the crap out of each other like in the "Cameras" music video, Matt told the crowd about the Matt and Kim cameras they have at the merch table. Matt gave a two word hint about the picture they took on each camera -- "up" and "skirt."

The party continued as Kim walked off the stage onto the hands of the audience to dance. She asked for another birthday wish -- all the guys to take off their shirts and wave them around like crazy during "Cinders." Most complied, creating makeshift fans that cooled things down.

Before playing "Daylight," Matt said he had a feeling 2011 will be the best year of our lives. "Even if it hasn't been that way so far. These next three and a half minutes will be the first three and a half minutes of your life." A bold statement, sure, but the crowd's reaction indicates that he might be right.

Matt and Kim didn't need to do an encore. They played all of their best material. Regardless, Kim walked out with a bass drum and played along to the beat of "Drop It Like It's Hot," which was combined with the "Daylight" vocals as Matt threw confetti on the audience. The Matt and Kim greatest hits medley included "Yea Yeah" and "Cameras" to hip-hop beats.

1. NY Rocky intro
2. Block After Block
3. 45 King
4. I Wanna
5. Good Ol Fashion Nightmare
6. Red Paint
7. Lessons Learned
8. Turn This Boat Around
9. It's a Fact (Printed Stained)
10. Grand
11. Lightspeed
12. Better off Alone
13. Good for Great
14. Silver Tiles
15. Just a Friend
16. Yea Yeah
17. Wires
18. Barbra Streisand
19. Northeast
20. Cameras
21. Pon de Floor
22. Cinders
23. Final Countdown
24. Daylight
25. Mega Mix!!!!
Yup, the setlist included four exclamation points.

Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Matt and Kim at Marquee Theatre

Personal Bias: After hearing about The Clubhouse show quite a bit, I jokingly told my friend that last night's show better end up in my top five of the year, or else I'd be disappointed. Turns out I was right -- I haven't had that much fun at a local show since Arcade Fire.

The Crowd: Young, hip, and defiant of the arms crossed/staring at the ground stereotype.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I guess [Kim] has been known to take her shirt off at shows..."

Random Notebook Dump: More shows need dance party intermissions.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum