Koma took over the staple NYC venue Pianos and treated guests to a special acoustic set.
Matthew Koma is most famously associated with providing the vocals for Tiesto’s mega-hit, “Wasted”. The Grammy-winning singer, lyricist, producer, and DJ returned to his native state to play an intimate acoustic set for select lucky attendees. During his hour long set he brought a fresh new perspective to the songs that put him in high collab demand, including Zedd’s “Clarity” and “Spectrum”. It’s always refreshing to be in the presence of a multi-faceted artist – not only did he kill it musically, but his explosive personality and witty jokes provoked laughter from the audience throughout the evening.
“How’s everybody doing!” With a guitar in his right hand Koma took his place on the cozy Pianos stage. The 30 year old emitted a confident vibe that made him look not a day over 23. He cracked a smile and launched into the first song of the evening, his collaboration with Portuguese DJ/producer RAC, “Cheap Sunglasses”. Looking around the room, it became evident that every single one of the audience members was there to support an artist that they loved and respected. I spotted several people closing their eyes and bopping their head along to the beat, truly getting in tune with the music.
Koma took breaks throughout his set to tell anecdotes about moments in his life that inspired him to write his now-famous songs. His bad luck in love coupled with his self-deprecating humor shone through in the second song he played, “Hard to Love”, which features a clever snippet of Beck’s “Loser”. He took a moment to bash his current home, Los Angeles, by saying that it “sucks, the sun is awful” but that he had his first real relationship there. He transitioned into a more emotional, lesser known song called, “Are You Okay?”
Highlights of Koma’s set included his performance of “Years”, “Clarity”, and “Wasted”. Both songs were popularized as dance-friendly, feel-good EDM tracks that are perfect to sing along to at a club. Their acoustic counterparts completely shifted my perspective of each of them. There’s something magical about seeing a song stripped down and reduced to a voice and a guitar – an additional layer of vulnerability that increased appreciation for his craft.