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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Matt and Kim, Wellmont Theatre. Atypical Father/Daughter Dance

Matt and Kim, Wellmont Theatre 11.17.12

So much energy it was exhausting to watch.

Visual program was most entertaining.  Lyrics, live feed from the show, and some nonsense filled the video screen.

Who doesn't like confetti?

Lots of folks in these parts belong to country clubs.  Some of them are super nice (read: super expensive.)  Baltrusol in nearby Summit, NJ is something like a bajillion dollars a year.  It hosts major golf Championships, fashion from Lily Pulitzer and some major movers and shakers from the NYC area.

Folks like me can get overpriced grounds tickets the next time the US Open or PGA comes to town.  Other than that the daunting fence does an admirable job of keeping my sorry ass away.  Which means I will not be able to attend one of those father/daughter dances those clubs embrace.  Not that my daughter would want to go to such a thing.  But nevertheless, the bonding moments between father (almost 40) and daughter (10) are forever fleeting.

Leave it to music to form a common bond.  Since she is not permitted to drive it has been established that the parents control the radio dial.  More specifically, I control the dial.  These days that means plenty of newer alternative, some 80s, some 90s, and the occasional adult alt.  I have been careful to not listen to Howard Stern with her in tow.  She will have plenty of time to hear about Bradley Cooper's conquests and porn star sound effects later in life (much, much, later in life.)

For the most part she digs what she is hearing.  She has seen Gotye, The Bravery, Cut/Copy, and Blondie to name a few.  Last night the Wellmont in Montclair, NJ presented a Brooklyn double bill:  Oberhofer and Matt and Kim.

"Let's Go", the addictive single from Matt and Kim's fourth LP Lightning brought us here.  The duo is a sheer force of high energy, high voltage, high octane dance pop.  It is a rather simple formula.  Matt Johnson is the man behind the keyboards and vocalist.  Kim Schifino plays drums.  But the formula is successful because they are having so much fun it's contagious.  Johnson's vocals, a high pitched squeak that is admittedly not for everyone, is serviceable and suits the material.  His humor, attitude and showmanship are exemplary.

When you add Schifino's voracious drumming, spirited stage antics and vulgar banter between songs the Matt and Kim live show goes from ordinary to exceptional.  It is just two folks on stage so you have to forgive some pre-programmed music.  Johnson's keyboard has tracks, hooks and grooves to pull from.  Last night they sampled from Sugarhill Gang and DJ Kool.  So, in that sense, there were some moments when the event took on a dj set and/or club night.  The countless tweens and drunken college kids further emphasized that feeling too.

But when Matt and Kim reached into their original material things went remarkably well.  The opening song, "Block After Block" was fast and furious.  "Daylight", probably their most popular song, was performed with an avid enthusiasm.  The whole darn concert was a giddy, free wheeling smile fest.  These guys should be working at Disney because it is hard to imagine a more happy duo.

Last night marked the final show of their 6 week tour and they were intent to go out in style.  Balloons were thrown into the audience to be blown up and released.  They blew confetti into the crowd a few times mid song.  Kim crowd surfed on hands and shaked her ample booty from various points on the stage.  Matt propelled himself from his keyboard stool and appeared to take flight.  They thanked New Jersey.  They thanked everyone.  They had a blast.

My 10 year old date stared in awed amazement for the 90 minute set.  It was the first time she saw crowd surfing.  It was her first concert that had "a light show, and movie screen."

"It was so much fun dad, they were really good!" was her assessment once she got her hearing back.

The Brooklyn duo might never get higher praise.  This is a highly critical and highly opinionated young lady to say the least.  Her father was quite impressed too.

Good thing events like this exist.   This is the kind of dance I approve of.  Soon the little one will want nothing to do with me.

"Just drop me off and pick me up dad." I can hear her say.

"Sure, no problem."  Think it will occur to her that I will park the car and hover around the venue rather than make myself scarce?

Youth is, after all, wasted on the young.  And acting your age is grossly overrated!!

For more:  Setlist looked something like this...  Matt and Kim official page.   Please note they will be supporting Passion Pit in the winter, with a notable show on 2.8 at New York's Madison Square Garden.  It is suddenly a much more interesting event (although I am still a bit shocked Passion Pit is playing MSG.)

Also, check out Oberhofer here.  They started off the evening with some quality, upbeat rock.  The guitar work and Brad Oberhofer's voice had a tendency to grow repetitive.  Overall, they have a good vibe and are easy to root for.

Oberhofer, Wellmont Theatre 11.17.12

NJ's smallest hipster.  Had a great view all night and managed to score a seat for Matt and Kim!

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