Having only seen them at festival appearances in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Galantis in their own show, or in this case, their co-headlining appearance with the Berlin-based Booka Shade. However, after their set times were announced and I saw they were only going to play an hour-long set, I scaled those expectations back a bit.
The Mayan Theater is a great venue. Both the facade as well as the inside is, unsurprisingly, dressed up as the carved stonework of a Mayan temple and washed in red and blue lighting. The staff were all friendly and expedient and all seemed to be on the same page, which is rare for somebody coming from the midwest.
That blue and red accent lighting throughout the halls and walls of the venue complimented Booka Shade’s stage lighting perfectly. They seem to prefer primary colors in their live performances. Both members wear black, Arno on percussion topped off with a hat and Walter on, well, every other sound, topped off with a headset and a toothy smile that makes him look suspiciously like an infomercial salesman.
The Berlin-based duo tore through their hour-long set with cool ease and constant gratitude for their fans in attendance. They have a unique take on house as well as performing with a combination of live instruments and electronic gear. The tempo and complexity began slow and soft, then built as the set went on and by the time they approached the hour mark, the music was in a manic frenzy, full of cymbal crashes, arpeggios and swooning vocals.
It turned out that was just the kind of build up appropriate for leading into Galantis’ set.
The spectacle we witnessed at the Fairplex a day earlier would obviously be scaled back, considering the stage was less than a quarter of the size, as were the number of attendees. Still, I hoped for a little variety from one show to the next.
Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklow took the stage hunched over, sneaking up to their gear after the lights were dramatically cut. The spotlight turned onto center stage and they popped up together when the music started, waving and shouting to the crowd, then lowered their heads to start playing.
Their set was, in fact, almost the exact same as Day of the Dead, with a few exceptions. Gone was the Dillon Francis remix they’d debuted, as was another song they’d mixed in. Present was the Kaskade remix of Runaway, as well as the original and three remixes of ‘Smile,’ along with that original.
One great thing about Galantis’ stage presence is that they seem to be as happy as anybody else at the show. Galantis descended upon the Mayan Theater much like they did for their Sunday show the day before at Hard Day of the Dead: by storm. Even if they’re playing the same material, they plow through it and make sure everybody gets on their feet and raging along with them.
They also included a surprise in their set, an appearance from one of their earliest collaborators, Kaskade who danced and sang along with “Runaway (U & I).”
It turned out that the most intriguing part of the show came after Galantis’ performance concluded. They stuck around for a meet and greet with their fans, and the crowd exited through a side door. As we were leaving, I saw a face I recognized from their Day of the Dead performance the night before. She was a pretty, young, blonde woman who was handing out Seafox masks the night before. I remembered reading about the mystery woman in the Seafox mask from their “You” video, who travels with them and appears onstage when they play “You.” They also noted that she hands out Seafox masks prior to shows, but they didn’t say that she wears the mask when she does it.
I’d mentioned that to my girlfriend at Day of the Dead, but she disappeared into the crowd before we could talk to her.
This time, I saw her standing in the doorway to the street at the Mayan as I was leaving, and again, I pointed her out to my girlfriend. Her build was very similar to the girl in the Seafox mask, and the collar of her dress appeared to be the same low cut style we saw onstage a half hour earlier. My girlfriend walked up and asked if she could get a picture with her.
“Why..?” She asked, stunned but smiling.
“Because you’re the Seafox!” My girlfriend answered. Her eyes got big as saucers, and she stammered about how she didn’t have her head. Her hands darted up to cover her mouth, she began to giggle and ran off back into the club before I could get my camera out.
If you follow Galantis, you may have noticed their post about the missing Seafox, last spotted at their Mayan show on Monday night. As one mystery is solved, it seems, another one pops up in its place.
I work, live and play in Minneapolis.
I try to tell the story of the people that create music and experiences through pictures as well as through words.