It would appear that nobody told Oberhofer they were just the opening act for Matt and Kim. The Brooklyn band behaved like they were headliners…and in return the packed Liberty Hall crowd treated them as such.
The indie noise rock band had the swagger of a band like The Strokes mixed with the sweetness of a band like Tennis. They are basically rock and roll, but with the edginess of puppy. Xylophone and frequent cymbal crashes lace their music and much like the show’s (official) headliners, their songs are easy to jump up and down to and scream at the top of your lungs. At one point during an instrumental bridge singer Brad Oberhofer disappeared only to reemerge half dangling over the balcony playing his guitar — that’s something you don’t see everyday from an opening act, but these guys were giving it their all. I can’t wait for these guys to return and actually headline a show in Lawrence. After the band played radio single “Away Frm U,” and promised just one more song, I joined many in the audience in a chant for more (that’s right, folks, the audience asked for an encore from an opening band). The band happily obliged with two more songs.
Perfectly warmed up for Matt & Kim, the already packed venue squeezed even closer together for a better look at the dynamic duo. Not that it mattered, Matt & Kim made sure to take care of the view for their fans in the back, using a video camera backdrop to provide a unique perspective for the audience to watch their set from all sorts of wild angles. The group has played Kansas City/Lawrence frequently and have gained a very loyal following that was able to keep up with the band’s prolific catalog, singing along to every word and knowing what to chant when the only signal came from the video backdrop rather than a band member’s direction.
Much like Oberhofer didn’t behave like a typical opener, Matt & Kim don’t behave like your typical headliners. They treat each song with the enthusiasm and surprise that most bands reserve for just their final numbers. Their mantra seems to be, “why wait for the party to start at the end of the show when you can celebrate the whole time — here have some balloons.” They climb on their instruments (drums and keyboards), jump with the audience and act and sound like a mix between typical musicians and cheerleaders – key riff followed by a cheer or vice versa all accompanied by very big and bombastic drums.
There’s not a dull moment in a Matt & Kim performance and the same goes for opener, Oberhofer. Do yourself a favor and catch this tour live. You won’t regret it.