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Matt & Kim (w/ Monowhales & Goodnight, Sunrise) @ The Phoenix (Toronto, ON) on May 7, 2018 [Show Review]

The kick off to Canadian Music Week, Matt & Kim headlined at The Phoenix on May 7th with openers Goodnight, Sunrise and Monowhales. The glitter, confetti and blow-up dolls were real.



The kick off to Canadian Music Week (May 7-13) could not have had a stronger lineup this time around. Presented by Toronto’s source for all things indie, Indie88 joined forces with CMW to bring us an unforgettable show at The Phoenix featuring the one and only Matt & Kim. They were joined on the last stop of their tour by Toronto’s own Goodnight, Sunrise and Monowhales. The glitter, confetti and blow-up dolls were real.

When Goodnight, Sunrise took to the stage the energy in the room sparked. The band played with such conviction; this was absolutely not their first rodeo. No strangers to CMW, they packed a hard punch into their short five-song setlist; keytar, drum solo and all. A very welcome surprise to the crowd, as sometimes openers can be really hit or miss. Mixing indie rock vibes with fun synths, David Kochberg and Vanessa Vakharia’s contrasting vocals brought a unique sound that was easy to get into. In between songs we heard how grateful the band was for having the opportunity to perform, almost in disbelief, which made their energy all that more intoxicating. And what kind of fun dance party would it be without glow sticks and confetti? You can catch Goodnight, Sunrise on tour this summer with their new single “Runaways” out now.

Matt and Kim (w/ Tokyo Police Club) @ State Theatre (Portland, ME) on April 24, 2018.

After a quick take down and set up, Monowhales (formerly Ginger Ale & The Monowhales) graced the amply warmed-up stage and announced their presence to the now-gathered crowd, jumping right into their hit “Home”. A slightly longer set at eight songs, Monowhales ripped through their indie pop tracks with a playful and hyped-up energy that was rippling its way to every corner of the room. A solid instrumental break took us into the last few songs of the set, showcasing the band’s raw talent and musicality. Brightly dressed in glitter, lead singer Sally Shaar’s voice was polished and powerful as she commanded the stage and gave us her all, diving into the crowd on the group’s last song and not missing a word. The band also played crowd favourite “Take it Back” as well as their new single “Real Love” off their new album Control Freak dropping June 1, 2018.

Anticipation was building as the crowd patiently waited for Matt & Kim, everyone still running off the highs from two solid performances and still picking confetti out of their clothes. This show marked the end of a seven-week tour for Matt & Kim (with Toronto-based Tokyo Police Club supporting) and was expected to be no less than the loudest, most dance-filled party audiences have come to know of the Brooklyn duo. The crowd lost their minds as Matt & Kim came out turned up to 11, pausing only briefly after their first song to joke with us, sharing their tongue in cheek humour. Excited to get the party going the band wasted no time getting the house lights up as they reeled us in with a sample of DMX before their 2015 hit “Hey Now”.

With another confetti interlude and an infamous crowd parting for a “wall of death” the duo emphasized their very recent release of Almost Everyday before launching into “Like I Used To Be”, egging on the crowd to crash into each other as hard as possible. And they did. A circle pit and crowd surfing at an indie pop show? You better believe it. Songs from the new album boasted the punchy electronic sound we’ve come to know and love from Matt & Kim, making it almost impossible not to jump around as much as the duo was on stage. The mix of samples (ranging from Drake to Duck Sauce) in between original songs was a big hit and kept the dance party alive, Matt and Kim taking their respective turns on their own stage-turned-dancefloor.

“Forever”, one of the newest singles off the album, gave us a catchy, uplifting anthem to the night complete with Kim directing the crowd to blow up hundreds of balloons to toss around in a truly whimsical moment. Completely energized and enthralled by their performance so far, the crowd chanted along to older hits “Yea Yeah” and “Lessons Learned”, but not before Kim flashed us in solidarity of loving each and every body. The band teased the crowd with a sample of “Daylight”, one of their most popular songs to date, before launching into another impressive track off the new album “Get It”.

Before the set came to a close, the duo ramped up their playful performance as Kim swapped out her drumsticks for dildos (as she is known to do) and Matt emulated his intimate side in a cheeky dance break to a very altered “Bohemian Rhapsody”. We finally got to hear “Daylight” in full, the familiar chords and charming lyrics matched only by the sounds of the crowd singing along and sweating out the last of the dance party. After what felt like only a few seconds, Matt & Kim came out for their encore giving us “Please No More” and “Let’s Go”. They pulled out all the stops, another haul of pre-inflated balloons and blow-up dolls being tossed around as the whole room danced their hearts out at what will be a near impossible act to top.

Watch the duo’s video for the song “Glad I Tried” here.