The antsy electro-pop rock duo Matt & Kim hit the U.S. Cellular Stage Friday night much like one of the many downpours from earlier in the day. They hit fast. They hit in a fury. And just like that, the crazed storm of energy was over.
That’s not to say that the set was short. The Brooklyn-based couple delivered a respectable hour of tunes. They just performed with such a caffeinated fervor that the set seemed to fly by.
The smiling duo started with a bang with the active opener "Block After Block," complete with lead singer/keyboardist Matt Johnson’s wild arm gestures and Kim Schifino’s thunderous drumming that left her with a broken snare. The only thing missing was Johnson’s vocal track, which was occasionally lost amongst the drumming and chirpy electronic melodies.
Johnson and Schifino made their voices clear during their many giddy interactions with the crowd. Early on, Johnson quoted the classic summer opus "Hot in Herre" to set the scene, and after the second number, "Overexposed," Schifino happily announced that she had just wrecked another snare.
Later on, the real-life romantic pair voiced their appreciation for the Milwaukee crowd and, before "Silver Tiles," joked about their sex lives. One of the main topics was Matt’s newly discovered flexibility while climbing the side of the stage during "Cameras." It wasn’t as awkward as it sounds, I swear.
When they weren’t chatting, they – and the crowd – were dancing to the tiny interludes of rap, hip-hop and dubstep in between numbers. Near the end of the show, the freakishly tireless Kim got to do her traditional twerk-happy dance break, and Matt aptly compared the concert to an episode of "The Ellen Show." There was also a brief sing-a-long of the Violent Femmes’ "Blister In the Sun," but that was fairly twerk-free.
Even when they weren’t frantically dancing, the energy transferred over to the music. "Cameras" still had its clattering, exciting vibe, and "Let’s Go" – the band’s current hit, making the rounds on SportsCenter – was a chipper little fun-times anthem. The strobing "Now" and the spunky "Yea Yeah" both provided contagious chants that got the whole crowd going.
Kim stepped out from behind the drums and took the mic for the set’s one quiet moment, the piano ballad "Ten Dollars I Found" lit only by the crowd’s cell phones. As soon as the number was over, however, Matt & Kim gleefully went back to their hyper ways with "Lessons Learned."
After playfully teasing it early in their set, there was no other way for Matt & Kim to end the show than with their biggest hit, the catchy, clattering "Daylight."
Even with the encore "It’s Alright," the concert came and went like a lightning strike on stage. It was a quick fierce blast. If you blinked, you might have missed it, but no matter what, you certainly felt the group’s electricity.
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