I never saw Matt and Kim, one of Brooklyn’s favorite local bands, while I lived in Brooklyn for the summer. I saw them for the first time in Paris. When my friend told me about the concert, I didn’t think that I was familiar with Matt and Kim. But when I saw them live, everything about them was familiar (and I recognized a few of their songs.)
Matt had that mischievously pure look that a lot of guys in New York have, especially ones who like to go on stage. Kim had a beautifully open and friendly face, with big biceps and big thighs that she made no attempt to hide, so unlike the delicate, ethereal beauties that inhabit Paris, who always look trapped in a world of their own.
The venue also made me feel that I could have been in Brooklyn, or somewhere else in the US. It was simple – a big dark floor, a bar, a stage. It’s called Le Flèche d’Or, and it’s known as a venue where Indy bands cut their teeth. I’d never seen so many hipsters in one room in Paris. I never knew that the sight of a hipster could make me so sentimental.
“This first song is called ‘Summer’, and it’s dedicated to what it’s been like outside today!” Matt shouted, beginning the concert. It was one of the first warm days in Paris. On a side note, since then the weather’s been shifty. You walk outside and it’s lovely and you say, conforming to cliché, “Ahh… it’s springtime in Paris!” Then a few hours later, Paris says “haha, just kidding.” And it’s raining and it’s cloudy and it’s cold.
Nobody was prepared for the heat inside the club. Sweat poured, clothing became sticky and cumbersome, makeup ran. Despite the heat, Matt and Kim wouldn’t let us stop dancing. A few songs in, Kim’s hair was soaking wet. ”Kim looks like she just took a shower on the stage!” said Matt delightedly. His keyboard playing didn’t produce as much sweat as Kim’s drumming, but he never stayed still, and even struck funny yoga poses as he played, standing on one foot, making his torso parallel to the ground.
Near the end of the concert, Matt said, “Kim has a speech in French prepared!” and Kim said, “Yes, I did write it down.” She got up on a chair on stage and unfolded a paper from her pocket. “I’m going to butcher this, you guys,” she said, and then proceeded to say something completely incomprehensible. Mat translated “Kim needs some strong people in the audience to hold up her ankles so she can do a booty dance!” It was oddly refreshing to see Kim mangle the French language so badly in front of so many people. The audience was full of Americans, Australians, and English people, and living in Paris, I think we all felt a certain amount of anxiety about our inability to do the French language justice.
At the end of the concert, Matt said “This last song is dedicated to anyone who’s had a tough week. I want you to shake it out of your fingertips, I want you to shake it out of the sides of your ass! Shake it out of the back of your ass! Shake it out of anywhere! Just forget about it!”
“I want these lights to be the craziest they’ve been in the history of this club! I want this audience to be the craziest it’s been in the history of your life!”
And then he sang,
“And in the daylight we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday I’ll see without these frames
And in the daylight I don’t pick up my phone
‘Cause in the daylight everywhere feels like home”
The audience went good and crazy. Crowd surfers passed above our heads from every direction. Maybe a lot of us had had a tough week. Paris can be a tough city, but at least it invites Matt and Kim to come cheer us up.