I miss pep rallies. I didn’t really enjoy them in high school. I thought they were a waste of time. But now that I am older and subject to the day-to-day grinds of being an adult, I see their benefits, particularly uniting people behind a common purpose, and appreciate them.
Enter Matt and Kim, a keyboard and drums duo from Brooklyn, whose performance Tuesday night at the House of Blues in New Orleans had all the giddiness and, dare I say, gymnastic stunts of a top-notch pep rally.
And that’s not even mentioning opening act NOLA Sissy Bounce standout Big Freedia, whose ass-shaking theatrics electrified some and befuddled others. Days later, I can’t get Freedia’s line, “I’ve got that gin in my system, somebody’s gonna be my victim,” out of my head.
Big Freedia’s performance was so engrossing — whether free-stylin’, bouncing his ass like a basketball or just acting as a provacateur for audience members dancing onstage to “Azz Everywhere” — that I had serious doubts that Matt and Kim could keep up.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Matt and Kim’s attitude and songs, many of which I was unfamiliar with, were infectious. Moments after arriving on stage, they stood on their stools and encouraged the crowd to cheer and clap. They later released balloons into the crowd, further enhancing the party vibe.
Performers extraordinaire, thy names are Matt and Kim.
“Who’s ready to get wild tonight?” Kim shouted. “I’m not talking about some pussy shit. I’m talking about rubbing your vagina on the floor.”
Matt responded, Kim has “the body of a 15-year-old boy and the mouth of a 60-year-old sailor.”
Indeed, some audience members were ready to “get wild.” A handful of thongs, some more worn-in than others, were tossed on the stage after Kim mentioned how she and Matt went nude for the video for their single “Lessons Learned.”
One of the show’s most memorable moments involved Kim, while wearing a white thong thrown on the stage minutes earlier, standing atop the hands of audience members in the crowd. My gut reaction was split between “please don’t fall” and “this is awesome!”
Matt’s vocals were a hyperactive yelp, often punctuated by him kicking a leg out as he sang or pumping his fist in the air like a “Jersey Shore” cast-off. The crowd ate it all up, whooping and hollering at every display of showmanship.
The songs were uptempo, lively, feel good jaunts. Matt and Kim played all the tunes one would expect, including “Daylight”, “Yea Yeah” and “Lessons Learned.” All sounded phenomenal live, particularly “Lessons Learned”, with the audience providing the chorus of “da da da da da da”, at Kim’s request.
In addition, Matt and Kim played brief, but enjoyable covers of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend”, Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone”, which all got the crowd jumping.
Matt and Kim’s show might not have been a pep rally in the traditional sense. After all, there was no game to follow. But my hair was drenched in sweat, my calves tired from jumping and my heart full. I felt victorious.