It takes us Jerseyans about two hours to get to Coney Island, the site of the annual Siren Music Festival. Saturday's journey gave us ample time to think about our relationship with Matt & Kim, this year's headliner. We had first seen Matt & Kim four years ago in a warehouse in Bushwick, where their simple keyboard and drum pop took just moments to turn a crowd of expressionless head-bobbers into a dance mob so excited that they had to be calmed down for fear of the floor breaking. They played with a sense of unbridled joy that neither of us had ever encountered. After that night, we chased them all over the city in search of that same high.
Their signature breed of simple, energetic indie-pop has since propelled them to national fame. Single "Daylight" is ubiquitous and can be heard everywhere from frat houses to Smirnoff commercials. Kind of like meeting up with successful old friends at a school reunion, we were going to this concert with a sense of trepidation: would we see the band we loved, or had fame beaten everything good out of them?
Can Matt & Kim maintain their Prelapsarian symbiosis with adoring fans? Sort of, for now...
Matt made good on his promise to run into the ocean, and we of course followed him, along with about 30 teeny-boppers in a scene eerily reminiscent of the opening of "Hard Day's Night." We all floated around in the warm ocean for a while, Matt good naturedly hugging and taking pictures with everyone who asked. The scene embodied the strange place Matt & Kim are in right now--Matt couldn't run into the ocean without drawing a crowd, yet he still seemed genuinely happy to talk to every member of the mob that surrounded him.
And what about the music? Scripted or spontaneous? Read the whole thing.