It’s 11:00 p.m. on a chilly Chicago night. I’m standing in a solid line around the block for the sold out Matoma show. I’ve never heard of him before. After casually listening to his popular singles, I figured the sea of fans were probably of the teeny-bopper variety. Instead, there was an abundance of crop top flaunting, Princess Leia haired college students. “He’s just groovy” says random girl Erna. “Ya know, tropical house.” No, I don’t know about “groovy tropical house.” When I hear the words groovy and electronic in the same sentence, I envision a Big Grizmatik jam session not Akon smacking that.
I make it past security, phew! Concord Music Hall‘s structure leaves me speechless, three spacious levels lined with wooden walls and an eye-level stage. The setup promotes an individualistic adventure between the artist and his or her audience. The color violet illuminates opener Two Friends during a sing-a-long performance of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”; Last month, Tiesto played the remix at Denver’s Decadence music festival on NYE emphasizing Two Friends’ Matt Halper and Eli Sones growth in popularity.
Norwegian heartthrob Matoma emerges hollering wise words into the mic, “My name is Matoma, and this is going to be a sick ass night!” Matoma’s Tom Strætes Lagergren spun originals “Old Thing Back,” “False Alarm” and “Heart Won’t Forget.” Lagergren’s unforgettable stage presence had me mouthing words to songs l didn’t even know. Zany dancing and mind-boggling red laser beams clouded any inhibitions you walked in bearing. Intoxicating is the only adjective that precisely describes a “Party At Your Place! Tour,” an encounter that transformed me into an instafan. The “Hakuna Matoma” producer had one more tiny gift of gratitude for enthusiasts who stuck around a few extra minutes following the show; Tom jumped off of the platform into the crowd shaking hands, kissing babies, taking selfies and uttering ridiculously awesome comments about how wonderful Noiseprn.com is all in his endearing accent. Epic.