October 8, 2017 @ House of Blues
By: Ingrid Angulo
Galantis brought a wild night of hedonism and partying, making the House of Blues feel like a huge festival.
I’ll preface this by saying I’ve never been a huge EDM fan. The music is fun and great for a party, but the lack of substance always struck me as a bit off. I’d consider myself a minority here though – EDM culture has grown immensely in recent years. Festivals like Electric Zoo, EDC, and Ultra have brought in hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the country for weekends of nothing but EDM. Even amidst controversy surrounding deaths at the festivals, the culture continues to grow as new festivals pop up all around the world. Swedish EDM duo Galantis has taken advantage of this booming scene, headlining numerous festivals worldwide and gaining both recognition and worldwide popularity. And for one night, Boston got to experience this duo’s vision: a wild night of music, partying, and simply living.
The experience began the minute I stepped out of the Uber and into the line. I was greeted by a guy pulling cocaine out of his shoe and snorting it with his friend who was already nearly unable to stand. Within minutes, they were joined by another friend uncontrollably sobbing because the security guard caught her with a fake ID. Morale was low before the start of the show.
After a forgettable DJ set from the opening act, the lights dropped and Galantis made their grand entrance. The nearly identical pair (only distinguishable by their outfits and opposite hair parts) appeared on a huge platform resembling one large TV screen. The stage was lit up with intriguing visuals and an abundance of fog machines, making it easy to forget there were actually two performers on stage. It was more like a visual arts exhibition than a live performance. As it turns out, stage presence can actually be about the stage itself instead of those on it. Instead of opening with one of their well-known hits, they successfully built anticipation by sprinkling samples of some of their bigger songs throughout, giving the crowd a little taste of what was the come. I soon noticed that the songs never actually ended, but they blended, turning the set into an hour-long remix of Galantis’ discography. However, they threw in some wild cards, notably a remix of ‘Heads Will Roll’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The rare moments when the energy of the venue began to falter were immediately resolved with the help of confetti and karaoke-style visuals. The crowd, drunk on music and whatever they’d chugged in line before the show, was captivated by the blown-up lyrics displayed across the screen, screaming the lyrics without missing a beat. Live vocals weren’t really necessary with the entirety of the venue singing over the track. When it came time for the encore, everyone was prepared for arguably the most popular Galantis track – ‘Runaway.’ Throughout the show, snippets from the song were played to hype the crowd, but when the duo actually performed the song, it became clear that the entire crowd was there for that one track. It was impossible not to jump and dance along. Even the observers from the perimeter of the venue couldn’t stay still. By this point, any negative energy had completely dissipated; everyone was on their feet.
EDM was made for nothing less than a set of massive speakers and an even more massive crowd. It’s not for casual listening – it’s for dancing and forgetting about the world around you while confetti is released from the ceiling. Galantis understands this and knows how to curate an immersive, live experience. It’s captivating for all, newcomers and veterans alike.