There are no peaks and valleys at a Matt and Kim show. Every set the Brooklyn duo performs is one long climax bathed in smiles, dancing, crowd participation and pure raucousness. Last night at The Bomb Factory they delivered on that reputation with a high energy performance that felt just a little too predictable.
Matt and Kim have a formula that works and they haven’t dared mess with it since their inception nearly a decade ago. Based in pop-punk with hip-hop influences, Kim delivers punchy drumming at a breakneck pace, accompanied by Matt’s heavy-handed, glossy synth beats and nasally, earwormy vocals. Five albums in, the duo’s catalog yields an infectious set that will have you toe-tapping even if you don’t feel like dancing.
That's why their music has been placed in countless ads, TV shows and video games. But their live performances are the driving force of their success; they’ve been able to go from playing tiny DIY venues such as Fort Worth’s 1919 Hemphill to one of Dallas’ premier venues in The Bomb Factory. Kim referred to that accomplishment last night as the Golden Triangle, including Denton shows in their trajectory.
Their eternal gleefulness was tested early on in the set. Just after kicking off the show with “It’s Alright” and their version of DMX’s “Party Up,” which saw Kim dancing and twerking on top of her drum kit, Matt’s keyboard stopped working and he had to halt the show while he tried to figure how to get it going again. Unfazed by the interruption, Kim just jumped into some antics the duo was saving for later in the show.
After getting some dance music from the house speakers going, Kim hopped on the barrier and crowdwalked with the help of her fans, doing her best to dance while they held her up. With Matt scrambling on and off stage, Kim then hosted a dance competition with three absurdly enthusiastic members of the audience that helped gloss over the technical difficulties.
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It was remarkable that such a huge technical failure didn't put a damper on the duo’s energy. It’s not just a gimmick — these are genuinely peppy and high-energy folks.
Once Matt had his keyboard going again, it was business as usual. They were all smiles and exclamations as they touched on tracks from all their albums. A rousing performance of “Now” from 2012’s Lightning was a highlight. Before that song, Kim passed out hundreds of balloons and Matt instructed the crowd to blow up the balloons and wait for his countdown.
As soon as his fever-pitched synths hit, the crowd released the balloons, creating a genuine party atmosphere. They kept the energy up throughout the rest of the show. Matt refused to let it die down, even just a little, by constantly jumping up from his seat and encouraging the crowd to keep dancing. Kim took every opportunity she could to hop over her drum kit and dance for the crowd.
The Bomb Factory show Thursday produced the same feeling and crowd participation the band delivered in 2012 at the House of Blues, in 2013 at Gexa Energy Pavilion and in 2015 at House of Blues, with little variance. Luckily for Matt and Kim, even if it’s the same that doesn’t mean it’s gotten old. The energy they’re willing and able to deliver year after year is remarkable, so it’s no wonder the band has continuously played bigger settings and become staples on the festival circuit.