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October 25, 2010

Review: Matt & Kim at Rams Head Live Saturday, October 23

Contributor Christeen Roden reviews Matt & Kim at Rams Head Live Saturday, October 23.

Exuberant doesn’t begin to describe the visceral experience of being twenty feet away from a two of the most energetic musicians around, Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino.

Even in the cavernous atrium that is Ram's Head Live, Matt & Kim’s energy Saturday night was as infectious as it was goofily charming. Barely a body remained still on the surprisingly packed floor or the balconies, which were overflowing with ardent, if less-expressive fans.

True to Matt Johnson’s earlier promise, they dazzled longtime fans by sticking mostly to their previously released material. And, just like they did at Virgin Mobile FreeFest, they also mixed it up with a few Old Dirty Bastard and Sir-Mix-A-Lot covers.

During a particularly boisterous Major Lazer riff, Kim obliged the more rabid audience members by dusting off that old rock 'n’ roll stand by: the stage dive, and pulled it off without any visible body arm except hand prints.

Any lull between songs were filled in by the adorably familiar banter between the (obviously) close duo. For instance, I now know that last year Johnson dressed like Andy Warhol for Halloween. And that Kim was a very serious runner in high school, but that instead of taking a full college scholarship, she ran away to Brooklyn where she met Johnson and started the band.

It was surprising to see the venue so full, if only because Matt & Kim are such a Brooklyn band - their last album, "Grand," was even named after a main fixed-gear thoroughfare in Williamsburg. I didn't know if Baltimore would come out for them. But I found myself standing amid a great deal fewer coke-bottle glasses than anticipated; the Baltimoreans in the crowd lapped up whatever the duo threw at them, including balloons.

While it's difficult to pinpoint a highlight of what was a raucous hour-long performance, their rendition of the “Grand” hit and fan-favorite “Daylight” is an obvious choice. Earlier in the night the band had passed around balloons, and during this performance, fans blew them up and released them.

It was as charming a move as the duo's performance, and also a plug. Upon closer inspection I noticed they were emblazoned with Schifino's likeness, and the release date of their new album, "Sidewalks."

Set List*:
I Wanna
Good Ol Fashion Nightmare
Spare Change
Lessons Learned
Yea Yeah
Silver Tiles
Don't Slow Down

Christeen Roden has an English degree from University of Maryland at College Park. She maintains her own blog about Baltimore and has written for Erik Maza edited this post.

*Set list is incomplete

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Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Concert reviews


Very biased review.... Matt and Kim didn't even play for an hour, the crowd consisted of mostly high school age kids (which is good and bad... no line at the bar, and but also no concert etiquette). Matt and Kim's banter seemed generic/ rehearsed, as if you would be able to hear the exact same thing at their next concert.

Effing terrible novelty band. Wish they'd go away.

fans are generally the ones motivated to put forth the effort to unless the sun is going to pencil in a paying gig for these types of reviews take it with a grain of salt man. and ya, it was generic/rehearsed but if you thought that what amounts to a glorified house band was going to throw the concert of the year then you clearly attended the city public schools

I dig a couple of their songs, but I just can't see them putting on a truly good show. Good for them for booking venues as big as RHL, though.

I wasn't within 10 miles of this concert but I'm sure it was at no point "raucous."

"Raucous" would have been the Helmet show at Sonar on Friday night.

I hope that someone reviews the Bad Religion/Aggrolites concert from Sunday. After a Helmet/Greg Dulli weekend, I had to sit Sunday night out.

As someone who actually went to the show and therefore will not make blind criticisms, I thoroughly enjoyed it. They put on the kind of show that I was exactly expecting based off of their music: fun, upbeat, and fast. I don't understand why if you don't like their music you would even feel the need to bitch about it anonymously on a blog.

anyone else wish they would bring back that bacardi mojito commercial???? anybody?

zach - you wouldn't know raucous if it landed on your d*ck. and a real man would spell it zack. grow a pair.

everyone- why don't you just take this show for what it is? a fun time, and good sound. haters always are hating. i like the comparisons made to brooklyn, where the group is fun. sounds like you know your stuff christeen

cool review, thanks!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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