It was 10:30 p.m., and the crowd was rowdy. There was kicking (to the head), pushing, punching and jabbing. On top of that, several girls were aggressively trying to elbow their way through the crowd the entire time. Many walked away with bruises; others walked out of one of the best shows of their lives.
Three hours earlier, there had been a line that stretched all the way from the side entrance of Mary Graydon Center to Kogod School of Business, of people anxiously awaiting the Matt and Kim concert hosted by AU’s Student Union Board. There were two guys with plastic guitars, girls in oversized sweaters and a lot of plaid and skinny jeans in either direction. When the doors to the Tavern opened, the rush to close to the stage was surprisingly calm.
If you are unfamiliar with Sweatheart, here’s a simple way to explain them: the Philadelphia-based band are a glam, performance art group singing lewd, overtly sexual ‘80s-inspired pop jams. The male band members dress in vintage ‘80s costumes, wearing wraparound sunglasses and hair metal wigs; the females tend to play in underwear, boots and little else. It’s no wonder that former Matt and Kim tourmate Amanda Blank used to roll with them. Even so, they played a great set with almost entirely new material from their forthcoming album. Unfortunately, their most famous member, up-and-coming rapper Amanda Blank, was absent from the show.
After a painfully long wait between the two sets, Matt and Kim came out to much applause. The crowd went wild as Matt yelled, “Hello, American University!” and the duo began to bang on their respective instruments.
Matt and Kim played a great mix of songs, mostly from their recent album, “Grand,” but they made sure to include older tracks like “Yea Yeah” and “Frank” to keep the show balanced between old and new. Their short, intense dance songs, like “Cinders” and “Spare Change,” were stars for a crowd who, for the most part, just wanted to dance to something with a great beat and lots of noise.
Both Matt and Kim got into it, with Kim jumping out from behind her drums and showing the crowd dance moves she “learned from Beyonce,” and Matt jumping off stage and dancing with the crowd towards the end of the show. They played a great show and seemed quite taken with the AU crowd.
When leaving the show sweaty and bruised — and probably missing some personal belongings — the casualties of the night didn’t really matter. It was a crazy set, filled with screaming, singing and love. If you weren’t there, you should have been.