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SXSW Friday: Matt And Kim, Doomtree

Emily Wilson |
March 19, 2011 | 8:06 a.m. PDT


Matt and Kim (Emily Wilson)
Matt and Kim (Emily Wilson)
On Sixth Street in downtown Austin, where music venue after music venue lines the closed-down street, people showed up en larger masse than on any other night so far on Friday.

Street performers played folk music or rapped or hosted samba dance circles while others danced on stilts or offered $1 hugs.

And all of that was just on the street.

Music was once again all around, at every step and turn.

Here are a couple highlights from Friday:

Matt and Kim :: If even one person walked into the FADER Fort in a bad mood on Friday night, they certainly left with a changed attitude.

In what will go down as one of the most explosively energetic shows at all of SXSW, the Brooklyn drum/keyboard/vocal duo Matt and Kim set off a frenzy, standing on their instruments, crowd surfing, dancing and throwing balloons from the stage, creating a colorful scene in which freshly blown-up balloons adorned with the faces of Matt and Kim were thrown and bounced around the room while they played "It's a Fact (Printed, Stained).”

As Matt played keyboard and sang, Kim played drums, and both (literally) never stopped smiling throughout the entire set.

And as if none of this were fun enough, Erykah Badu joined on stage during “Lessons Learned” to play the drums.

With three full length albums under their belts since 2006, consistent touring and growing popularity with each release, Matt and Kim seem incapable of slowing down. With the live show as proof, it's safe to say the word "slow" never even enters the duo's consciousness.

Doomtree :: On the same bill as Das Racist, The Cool Kids and EPMD, Doomtree held its own, and even outshone some of its better-known counterparts.

The seven member Minnesotan hip-hip collective seemed to catch its rhythm about a quarter way through its set, winning over the crowd by doing so, which then only added to the unified onstage energy.  

With that positive escalation of stage presence and confidence, the five rappers, backed two DJs/producers, delivered introspective, thoughtful lyrics, but managed to keep the mood light and the attitude buoyant.

The vibe was mixture of spoken word event and a raucous party. As each song went on, Doomtree appeared more like a collective and less like individuals, often jumping in unison and harmonizing raps to near perfection on the small stage at Venue 222.

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