Next up on my list of Boston Calling groups that unexpectedly wowed me is Matt and Kim. Most people know them for their quirky summer of ’09 hit “Daylight,” and honestly, that’s the only really positive song I expected out of them going into their performance. After only a few minutes of the two being on stage however, it was plain to see that they had some of the most impressive crowd controlling and emotionally manipulating abilities of any group I’d ever seen. Matt had a soundboard that had random noises on it, and in between songs (or occasionally during songs) he would start playing completely off-color trap hip-hop choruses to get the crowd hyped up, with the song he played the most being Bugatti by Ace Hood (please click that link to understand how bizarre this was at an alternative music festival). Much to my surprise however, the crowd was obsessed with this soundboard trick and would transition from active dancing to original Matt & Kim songs to dropping it like mindless adolescents the second Matt would press one of those buttons. He even pressed it purposefully but abruptly during one of his songs for a few seconds, then proceeded to laugh to himself saying “Haha, I love that f**king button.”

That wasn’t even close to the end to their performance. They had volunteers go out and give hundreds of balloons to crowd members to hold on to. When the song “Let’s Go” came on, they instructed everyone on queue to let go of their balloons, causing an amazing colorful display of crowd-based teamwork that lit up the Boston cityscape with hundreds of balloons and thousands of smiles. Finally, although a bit cliche, it’s always a tell-tale sign whether a band is likely being exciting or not based on whether the band members are quite literally dripping sweat. These two were so incredibly energetic as is shown in the banner of this post, which is a photo shot at that first Boston Calling festival in May of 2013 in Government Center. That photo was the background on my computer for two years not because I’m obsessed with Matt & Kim’s music, or because of the Boston landscape in the background, but because it emphasizes everything I love about live music. A huge percentage of the crowd in this picture is smiling, and rightfully so. Even in this still frame you can sense the palpable energy that these two bring, and through the symbolism presented with this snapshot, that one moment of time represents a lifelong appreciation for this genre and its amazing and emphatic artists.