After someone in the audience asked about it, Matthew Koma held up the trophy sitting on top of his amp for the Gramercy Theatre crowd at a recent concert at the Manhattan venue.
His team won the Winnetka Bowling League season to take the trophy, though Koma was quick to point out that he wasn’t around much because he was touring with his new band, called, yes, Winnetka Bowling League. (“Not Wakanda Bowling League,” he adds later, though wouldn’t that make for a great “Black Panther” sequel?)
It’s all part of the Seaford native’s current winning streak. His band’s debut single, “On the 5” (RCA), a dreamy meditation about California love, which naturally includes freeways, became a hit on college radio and SiriusXM’s AltNation. Then, he and girlfriend Hilary Duff welcomed their daughter, Banks, into the world. And now, Winnetka Bowling League, which includes his brother Kris Mazzarisi on drums, is on tour, opening for Canadian rockers Mother Mother, and previewing songs from its upcoming EP, “Cloudy With a Chance of Sun,” due out on RCA on April 26.
Of course, all that comes after Koma career highlights that include co-writing the Grammy-winning hit “Clarity,” singing on dance hits with Tiesto and Alesso, and producing songs for everyone from Shania Twain to Bruce Springsteen. So it’s no wonder that Winnetka Bowling League’s set is a well-polished good time, even though the quartet has been together less than a year. “You guys are so quiet, it’s like a talent show,” Koma told the crowd, which broke the ice immediately. And by the time the band broke into the upbeat “Feeling California,” the quartet had won the crowd over.
“This is the ‘Dance and Cry’ tour,” Koma said before introducing the gorgeous ballad “Are You OK?” from the band’s first eponymous EP. “This should take care of the crying part.”
However, the new song “Something in the Air” may be just as tear-inducing, as Koma sings of the aftermath of a breakup.
Mostly, though, Winnetka Bowling League was more about the dancing, starting with the new single “Kombucha,” with its “Odelay”-era Beck vibe, and the catchy pop love song “Sixteen” that seems ready to become a sing-along.
It’s also no surprise that the winning streak seems set to continue, judging from the songs at the Gramercy show. Clearly, Winnetka Bowling League is getting ready for more trophies — and not just for bowling.
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