Galantis earn their hype with inspiring Coachella debut
Rare is the story of a group making their live debut at a festival the magnitude of Coachella and rarer still is the story of a group that can fill that festival’s stage and have nearly every attendee sing along to songs that were released just two weeks prior. That is the story of Linus Eklow and Christian Karlsson’s Galantis, but it is a story in which everyone in the electronic sphere anxiously awaits the next chapter. With their first performance officially one for the books, these are the moments that made Galantis’ live debut so special.
The pair was slated to take the Gobi Tent on Saturday night, coming to the stage that Beyonce had popped in on Solange just moments before. With desert winds raging outside, the semi-covered space proved a place of refuge for festival goers, and not just from the weather. The hour-long set felt like a party among best friends, a celebration of a shared love and an in-shower singing session all at once. “Smile,” then, was the perfect way to set the mood.
From behind a Seafox-shaped setup with a video screen face, the pair entered the stage armed with drumsticks and matching jackets, briefly announcing their presence through a vocoded greeting typed out on screen. Without further ado, the crowd’s yearning was satisfied as an instrumental intro leapt from the speakers, followed by the androgynous and infectious vocal of their debut single that was met with a thousand voices to match it.
Each of the tracks from the Galantis EP made their way into the too-short 60 minutes, entering the emotive air accompanied by a dash of Miike Snow, a pinch of Tom Staar and some truly inspired transitions – a trap ending to “You” among them. While the buzz has stuck around the surprise remix, the magic of “You” started even before the hi-hats rolled and the music video made its own live debut: Feeding off the energy of the crowd just as the first chorus rang out, the pair ceased their own bouncing and spun around to face the cameras behind them, showing their beaming and singing faces to the crowd in the back and cementing the three-way bond between performer, music, and fan.
Other standout moments from the set were the first time the jellyfish face completed the larger-than-life Seafox, the lips that sang to “Revolution” while Linus left the decks to engage with the crowd and the collective burst of energy when Christian nodded to Miike Snow with “Animal.” Unlike your average set with a handful of moments, the entire performance itself was the moment, a truly unforgettable slice of time at a festival marked by overlapping sets, within a genre known for its short attention span. It was such a moment that when the second technical issue of the night brought the set to an abrupt end, the crowd didn’t need Linus or Christian to say what they were trying to into their dead mics: The performance had been spectacular, the love had been real, and the crowd already knew.
The first set of their first tour in support of their first EP, Galantis’ Coachella performance made lifelong fans of all in attendance and instilled desperation in the hearts of those that were not. With only five North American dates on the books after they again bring the magic back to Indio this weekend, there is just one question on everyone’s lips. So boys, if you’re reading this: Will you post your set?