Poor Peter. He wrote an unapologetically glowing interview with Matt Johnson (of Matt and Kim), and what thanks does he get? No press passes for BYT! No photos, either! Luckily I bought my ticket well in advance, which (of course) gives me ample opportunity to gloat. Matt and Kim’s high energy half-hour set left me reeling with delirious joy. Cut Copy wasn’t so bad either. Sorry, Peter.
Right before Matt and Kim take the stage Monday night, I order an overpriced gin and tonic. The earlier beers were not getting the wood chopped, and somehow a good buzz seemed necessary to fully enjoy Cut Copy’s opener. After their dangerously quick opening number, I learn that Kim had a similar idea. Matt informs the enthusiastic crowd that she normally does not drink liquor, and we’re in the throes of her first inebriation stage – HAPPINESS. Her boundless energy rubs off. Matt jumps on his piano stool, Kim stands on her bass drum, the crowd (or maybe just me) spontaneously cheer in mid-song, the video screen projects fireworks, all the while the hooks keep coming.
The second stage is DANCING – Matt lays down a beat and Kim busts a move. So do I, so does my buddy Bobby G, so does Blonde Bombshell near me. The duo play “Daylight” for the first time in DC with radiant smiles. The song is fun and catchy so I forget about Amateur Photographer clicking away with her shitty point-and-shoot. Addressing the crowd, Matt sounds so thankful I think he might burst into tears. They finish before we see Kim’s third stage. Earlier she told us we don’t want to see it, and I still don’t believe her.
I want a moment’s respite before Cut Copy take the stage. DJ Knightlife does not give me the opportunity. He replaces his earlier disco grooves with booming electro, and I stay put. Thankfully Bobby G is picking up the next highball. I keep moving until the lights go down. During Cut Copy’s set, I experience an array of different sensations. An abbreviated list:
- Nostalgia – The colors of Cut Copy’s light show remind me of Fruit Stripe gum. Electric reds, shimmering greens, and glowing yellows drift along the thin glass cylinders. It’s dazzling, yet an anthropomorphic zebra consumes my thoughts.
- Relief – The second application of Extra Strength Gold Bond Medicated Powder was a wise choice. The heavy synths and lock-step drums get me in a sweat.
- Awe – If Matt and Kim are blissfully chaotic, Cut Copy are consummate professionals. They are correct in the few times they inform us it’s time to dance.
- Nausea – After a short bathroom break, I hang in the back below an amp. The bass uncomfortably shakes my guts as the bands gets into high gear. From the back, I watch hundreds of hands reach for the ceiling.
- Fucking A – “Lights and Music” is an apropos final number. Like all their preceding songs, they add just the right amount of booming intensity.
- Regret – I meet up with Bobby G outside. Jacket on waist and sweat on brow, he says, “Fucking brilliant, man.” I should have gone back.
Who cares if I have work tomorrow? I can’t sleep now and I can always call in sick. Bobby G and I head to DC9 for a few rounds. A couple dozen enthusiastic fans join us. They also realize that after a show like that, they won’t be sleeping anytime soon.