Live review: Pretty Lights @ the 1stBank CenterBy Nate Etter | January 2nd, 2012 | 1 Comment »
“Are you ready for midnight in our perfect little world Colorado?”
This is the question that Derek Vincent Smith, commonly known as Pretty Lights, asked his sold out home-state crowd Saturday night at the 1stBank Center, capping off a two-night stand at the Broomfield venue. The answer was obvious. For almost five hours, the New Year’s party felt like a completely different world: a frenzied sea of lasers, glow sticks and glitter mesmerized by a world-class light show and the lively electronic production that is Pretty Lights.
Photos, below, from Friday’s show.
After opening sets by Paul Basic (an up-and-comer on the Pretty Lights Music label) and German house DJ, Zedd, Smith took to his massive LED throne and kicked off the night with a varied first hour of silky smooth hip-hop beats and mellow breaks. The producer has truly created a sound that is his alone, branching away from the trance tendencies of many electronic genres in favor of a sound grounded in head-bobbing grooves and soulful samples that still allows space to explore dubstep tendencies.
Just prior to midnight, Smith played a wompy 10-minute remix of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” before erupting into a spin of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” as the clock struck 12. This coincided with a massive downpour of balloons and confetti netted to the ceiling, which filled the air the remainder of the show.
The set got heavier as the night went on, filled with gritty newer material with massive drops into intense bursts of oscillated bass. Less heavy-hitting highlights included a midnight mashup of J.J Cale’s “After Midnight” and the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider” and an encore that returned to smooth hits like “Still Night” and “High School Art Class.”
After three consecutive breakout years, Pretty Lights moves into 2012 as one of the most recognized electronic artists in the country and has helped put Colorado’s abundant dance scene on the map. If Saturday night was any indication, it is a party that is not going to stop any time soon.
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a regular contributor to Reverb.
Brynna X is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.