A stellar festival performance can often provide a much-needed springboard for fresh, new sound fighting their way into familiarity. In 2013, a relatively un-heard duo of young brothers from Surrey, UK obliterated a late night set in the smallest tent at Coachella. The buzz was almost instantaneous. Only a year later, Mary J. Blige would be joining Disclosure on one of the main stages to close out Sunday evening. That was last year.
This year, we have Galantis. Comprised of Christian Karlsson of Miike Snow and Linus Eklöw from Style of Eye, this Swedish electronic outfit is deliciously poppy but packs the soulful punch modern electro house. Infectious and bubbly, their songs are undeniably uplifting. After their smashing sets at Coachella, the remaining shows of their tour sold like wildfire. Their tour would conclude at LA’s iconic El Rey Theatre to a sold-out crowd of thirsty new fans.
The anticipation for this show was literally killing me. The minutes felt like hours as we waited for the dapper duo to take the stage. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, only one LED smiley face sign bouncing impatiently could cut through the haze. Lights turn down, crowds turn up.
In an instant, it became a beautiful chaos of color, haze and sound. The energy in the room was incredible. As the crowd’s gratification boiled over, you could feel the excitement radiating off the duo on stage. The smoke alarms were chirping in the background and literally nobody gave a s***. The only reasonable cure is MORE SMOKE MACHINE!
As Galantis cruised through the 100% certified gold that is their self-titled EP, the electricity in the room never wavered–swelling as they touched on their smash hits “Smile”, “You” and my personal favorite “Hard Times”. They have succeeded in retaining the intensely positive attitude of pop music while whole-heartedly delivering the weight and drive that electronic fans are craving. Paying homage to Karlsson’s soon-to-be side project, the duo dropped a brilliantly remixed version of Miike Snow’s hit “Animal”—and the crowd went wild. Screw the fire alarms, this m*therf***er is gonna burn!
I can say without any hesitation that this is one of the best shows I’ve seen since moving to LA. The crowds here can be fickle, as you might imagine, but such genuine happiness and excitement permeated the air that night. No pushing and shoving, just smiles and gratitude for getting a ticket before they skyrocketed to $200 on goddamn StubHub. Fiercely talented, these guys have everything going for them. Ever since their performances in Indio, the chatter about Galantis has not ceased. Mark my words—this is the beginning of something colossal. There is something truly special going on here. I can only imagine where Galantis will be this time next year.