Last Night: Cut Copy, Matt & Kim at the Granada Theater

Cut Copy, Matt & Kim
Granada Theater
March 7, 2009

Better than: anything that someone who originally found Matt and Kim's cheeriness to be a little annoying could ever expect their stage show to be.

Matt and Kim

Yesterday was Kim Shifino's happiest day ever. Or, rather, it sure seemed that way when Matt and Kim took the stage to open for Cut Copy at last night's sold out show at the Granada.

The audience came to have a good time, and Matt (Johnson) and Kim were more than happy to deliver. The Brooklyn duo played a shortish, high-energy set of drums and keyboards party music that got a responsive audience smiling and bouncing.

Kim sure can smack those drums (the sound mix was great), and is huge fun to watch--even if, at times, it felt a bit like a Gymboree party with some corny jokes and wacky posing by Matt on his stool, a good time was had by all.

Later, Cut Copy traveled with a great stage set (horizontal LED light tubes, VOX amps and lots of room to move around), and a check of the set list was promising.

But as soon as the band took the stage to rapturous applause, a good deal of the excitement was lost. Sure, Cut Copy music relies heavily on sequenced keyboards, and the songs meld together on record into one continuous mold, but this was one of those shows where only the drummer and vocals were mixed live, and any chance of spontaneity was lost before the tour even started.

Despite guitars and bass occasionally being picked up and played by band members (and various other drum pads and keyboards being pounded) the pre-recorded sounds were the ones that most impacted the mix. And the only real contribution of the sidemen was inspired dancing and fist pumping.

But hey, the crowd loved it, bouncing like crazy and smiling.

Speaking of smiling: Running into Kim in the parking lot, I got the feeling that every day is the happiest of her life. It was tough not to leave with a grin after that.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I've been a big fan of Cut Copy since the release of Bright Like Neon Love, reinforced with last year's In Ghost Colours, and was really looking forward to this show. So I expected to love Cut Copy and feel meh about Matt and Kim. But just the opposite was true. Matt and Kim actually played this show, while Cut Copy acted out a pre-recorded performance without a scintilla of spontaneity.

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