Written by Ariana Assaf
It’s official: tropical house has gone mainstream. How do I know this? Because earlier this week I saw Matoma play to a college crowd full of girls in leis and boys in Hawaiian-style shirts. And despite the high proportion of Greek life members, there was a relatively low amount of the oft-associated douchiness. Way to keep up the good vibes, Matoma.
Perhaps it was the perfectly delicate balance of his own originals like “Running Out” or “Try Me” paired with guilty pleasure sing-alongs—think One Direction’s “Perfect” and Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time”—but Necto Nightclub was buzzing with an impressive amount of energy for a Wednesday night. Especially when he worked in the drop from The Chainsmokers’ “Roses”; in that moment, I understood why tickets to their show were being scalped for upwards of $100 when they were here a few months ago.
But back to Matoma…I have to say, I was surprised by how many people showed up. I’ve all but stopped trying to get most friends to come to shows with me—last time I took my sister out she left within 10 minutes, but I guess Borgore isn’t quite as easy on the ears as Matoma’s bouncy, laid back sounds. Fortunately, his popularity didn’t result in a lack of dancing room, and I had plenty of space to act like a lunatic and flail around to my heart’s content…pretty much a standard Wednesday night in the life of Ariana anyway, but it was good to get out of my living room.
Matoma’s set was the epitome of knowing your audience, and I’ll admit I probably underestimated the musical sensibilities of my fellow students. He essentially tropical house-ified everything every normal person has ever enjoyed listening to, from Maroon 5 throwbacks to soulful Avicii to “Uptown Funk” (my mom’s favorite song, I sent her a snapchat because we’re cool). And it was awesome! Wednesday was proof that a night out doesn’t have to be the biggest deal ever, or something you regret in the morning, or something that none of your friends can understand. When Matoma gets involved, it’s pretty much as simple as a day at the beach.