For Matt and Kim fans, grand tour hits all the right notes


Henry Bendon, Staff Reporter

It’s hard to explain what a Matt and Kim show is like. The music they play could be best categorized as electro-pop, a blend of keys, drums and vocals. When played live, it sounds a lot louder and more forceful than on their records and inspires a great deal of dancing.

That said, a part of Matt and Kim’s performing style involves sampling or dancing along to other people’s music. The parts of the show where they play originals are the majority, but not the entirety of the performance. 

This truth was in full effect when the duo kicked off their “Grand” tour at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom last Thursday, Oct. 17. The tour is designed to celebrate their album “Grand,” that came out ten years ago, and the tour is to remind the band and its audience of the music that launched Matt and Kim from the underground of indie-pop to headlining music festivals. 

A tour centered around “Grand” is aided by the fact that it’s not very long. Its official tracklist comes in at a mere 29 minutes. In order to give the crowd a full show, Matt and Kim mixed in remixes of other artists, dance breaks, a few songs off other albums and a not insignificant number of conversations with each other on stage. 

The show also answered a few lingering questions about drummer Kim Shafino’s ability to perform—she has a torn ACL, which she described on the stage as “floating inside her leg.” A large part of the Matt and Kim act involves the duo running around on stage, dancing and leaping, basically any activity that one might expect a woman with only one functioning leg to sit out. But beyond a knee braceƒ, there was no indication from her performance that she was injured.

The rest of the show hit all of the highlights singer Matt Johnson had hoped for in his interview with The Observer in September—the crowd was loud, it danced, it moshed and it reacted very strongly to the surprising introduction of inflatable sex dolls that were cast out halfway through the set. Mostly, that reaction was to keep punching them back aloft like a beach ball at a music festival, which did appear to be the goal, although some concert attendees did grab and deflate said dolls and attempt to walk out with them. 

Overall, the tour’s debut felt like a success. There were several elements of the show that felt like they were being worked out on stage. Specifically, one song where audience clap-and-stomp participation was requested felt a little forced and less than cohesive, but for Matt and Kim fans the show accomplished everything they came to see.