On a poorly lit dance floor, concert-goers milled about as if they were at a high-end club rather than waiting for an artist to perform. It was sweaty, sticky and a little claustrophobic in the venue — more appropriate for the intense dancing at events such as Bootie SF than a chill electronic concert. The stage was lined with Chinese lanterns of varying sizes. Everyone waited in anticipation for the act of the night to come on stage.
On Sept. 30, Alina Baraz & Galimatias performed at the DNA lounge. Producer and beatmaker Galimatias and singer Baraz catered to a hungry crowd with their signature chill electronica as they played one of the few shows they have scheduled on their short tour.
As they each walked onto the stage, the crowd went wild.
Galimatias began the set first. He walked onstage and laid down beats as the lanterns began to light up. His face was illuminated by the frenetic, makeshift lightshow. The crowd cheered and cheered, but it was clear for whom everyone was waiting. The hushed excitement began to fill the air.
Then, Baraz appeared. She entered on a flight of stairs in the center of the stage, casually dressed and wonderfully nonchalant. Without much more ado, Baraz began singing.
“Listen long, long enough, you can love me,” she sang. Almost all the audience members screamed at the top of their lungs.
“I think she’s a fallen angel or something,” an audience member said to his friend. Like almost everyone else in attendance, he had his phone up to record the set, greedily trying to capture as much of these five minutes in his iPhone’s photo library as he could.
Despite the fact that Baraz had come onstage very late — maybe three or so hours after the doors of the venue had opened — the crowd didn’t seem to mind in the slightest. At this point, the singer had developed such an avid following that her reputation appeared unshakeable.
In the middle of “Make You Feel,” one of the duo’s best dance-y tunes, Baraz briefly paused and shouted, “What’s up, San Francisco!” to the sheer delight of her fans.
Throughout the set, however, it became clear that Baraz is still in the early days of her performance career. She did her part to maintain the energy in the room but seemed a little disconnected at moments. In those fleeting seconds, it was clear that she was an artist who had just begun to receive exposure on such a large level.
Although Baraz has recently catapulted to success through listening platforms such as SoundCloud and collaborations with acclaimed producers, such as Galimatias and Esta, she still seemed in shock that she had made it so far so soon.
She ran through the majority of Urban Flora — her collaboration EP with Galimatias — during the show, leading with her velvety tones as the crowd screamed along. Baraz soothed the audience’s tender heartstrings with her smooth, gorgeous vocals.
As she neared the end of her set, she implored the crowd to “Show Gali some love.” Baraz explained how the two had begun to work together and how she was “struggling to figure out how to write a melody when his music came on,” and he inspired her to write to his songs.
The singer was a little shy and humble as ever as she turned to address the crowd.
“Now we have Urban Flora,” she said with a smile. The audience cheered. “And most importantly, we have you.”
After that statement, it was impossible to withhold a smile. The duo had evidently won over the hearts of everyone in the cramped, dimly lit venue.
They continued on, bouncing off the crowd’s energy all the way to the very end of the show, when they closed with their very popular single “Fantasy.” Everyone left the show enraptured, the few lights of the stage shining bright in their eyes. It felt a little bit like magic, indeed.
Contact Eda Yu at[email protected].