Relient K’s 10th Anniversary MMHMM Tour


Relient K lead singer Matt Thiessen plays with guitarist Matt Hoopes onstage at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia on November 26th, 2014. They are on tour in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their fourth album MMHMM. The crowd sings along with every piece, showing that the songs are still relevant and meaningful today.

Caroline Duckworth, Design Editor

Alternative rock band Relient K went on tour this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album MMHMM, bringing back their energetic, punk-pop songs from the early 2000s. Blondfire and From Indian Lakes joined them as special guests.


On November 26th, Relient K came to The Masquerade, a concert venue in Atlanta. Their set was nearly two hours long and included the entire MMHMM album followed by favorites from subsequent albums. Their energy filled the air and vibrated through the floor and into the crowd. The band was on point, and Matt Thiessen, the lead singer, sang beautifully, showcasing his talent for live performances. The crowd sang along to every piece, revealing the timelessness of the songs.


After playing through MMHMM, the band left the stage, but the crowd begged for more. “One more song!” they cheered and yelled, over and over again until the band came back on stage.


Immediately, Matt asked, “Who knows the words to ‘Sadie Hawkins’?” The crowd screamed, and then joined Matt in singing “Sadie Hawkins Dance,” a fun song from the band’s second album The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek. As they reached the chorus, someone dressed up as Robin suddenly appeared and jumped around the band members. He threw himself back into the crowd, hands catching him. Then the band played ten or more songs from their albums after MMHMM, showing the evolution of their music over the years—from the rock of Five Score and Seven Years Ago to the acoustic sounds of Forget and Not Slow Down to the pop and alternative rock of their newest album Collapsible Lung.


At some point in the night, after finishing a song, Matt took a moment to pull a hair out of his mouth, saying it was stuck in the back of his throat. Apparently a girl in the front of the crowd wanted it, so even though he seemed wary, he gave her the hair. Everyone else, however, was thoroughly grossed out.


Relient K was founded in 1998 in Canton, Ohio by Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, and Brian Pittman. The name was inspired by Hoopes’s car at the time, a Plymouth Reliant K, but the spelling was changed to avoid trademark infringement. MMHMM, their fourth studio album, marked their break into the mainstream in 2004. The band experimented with its sound, creating a unique blend of punk, pop, and rock and incorporating emotionally-charged and faith-based lyrics. The album includes some of Relient K’s most popular songs, “Be My Escape” and “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been.”


In a recent video on Relient K’s YouTube channel, leader singer Matt Thiessen expresses his feelings about the tour, saying, “It’s pretty fun that [the songs off MMHMM] still hold up ten years later.” He explains that everything, their influences and their maturity, came together for that fourth album. “Fortunately, though,” he continues, “I haven’t changed so much that the lyrics don’t apply to me anymore. They still do. Sometimes a song will hit you different, even though you’ve been playing it for years, and it becomes, I don’t know, really real.”