When Matoma broke onto the EDM scene in 2015 with various remixes built around uplifting melodies and Caribbean-inspired timbres, he was immediately grouped into the genre known as Tropical House.
Norwegian producer and DJ Tom Lagergren, better known by his stage name, which originates from a play on a classic Lion King reference, Matoma, brought his international One In A Million tour to The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, along with guests Youngr and MAX.
The three delivered an electric and diverse trio of performances with Youngr layering live instrumental tracks on drums, piano, and two different guitars while providing his own live mix and vocals, and MAX throwing a nonstop explosion of stage energy and high-pitched vocal belts in the opening shows.
The theatre erupted with his perfectly timed delivery of West Coast Party.
But what truly set this show apart was the far heavier, trappy and certainly less tropical elements mixed throughout.
Without losing the sunny style that made him an icon in the tropical scene in recent years, the 26-year-old seems to be stepping onto a far more prominent stage within the business.
Along with classic techno-style lasers and vibrant visuals, Matoma delivered some headbanging remixes of tracks such as the Don Diablo and Arizona smash hit Take Her Place, Dillon Francis’ Say Less, and Kendrick Lamar’s Humble.
MAX also returned to the stage with only a few remaining songs left in the final set, to perform an unreleased single, Lonely, from Matoma’s soon-to-be-released album also named One In a Million.
One thing seems certain: Matoma is ready to show the world that he belongs to a class of artists far beyond the Tropical House scene. Much like Kygo, he mastered the genre and is stepping past it.
Expect plenty more great shows during the current tour and beyond, with classic originals and remixes to come from the young Trondheim, Norway, star in the future. Signs show he is on his way to an even brighter future.
Photos and story by Aaron Nelson