What’s in a name? Well, if you had seen Pretty Lights play NYC's Roseland Ballroom this past Wednesday night, you would probably say, an identity. Derek Vincent Smith, aka Pretty Lights, was in town for his Analog Future Tour, and rocked a crowd of nearly 3,000 for three hours of psychedelic music accompanied by an other worldly laser light show.
The mischief night show started off with a bang! The enthusiastic DJ SuperVision warmed up the crowd with his original mixes and well-known remixes. SuperVision stood behind a DJ booth where he scratched his way through tracks off his latest EP, Telekinetic, and Jay-Z's, Can I Get A...while concertgoers danced the night away bathed in a freaky orange colored lighting. DJs then took it up a notch with his remix of Rage Against The Machine's smash hit, Bulls On Parade. Playing with the crowd, he turned down the volume during the chorus after “Rally round the family!” was sung, with the audience completing, “With a pocket full of shells!” Supervision wrapped up his set by unleashing a track from his upcoming album, “Space Jazz,” and then asked the crowd: “Who's down with the Pretty Lights record label?!” A resounding, “YEAH!” came back at him, as he smiled and said, “Yeah, we get our music for free, so go out and get it!”
Next up was Atlanta-based producer HeRobust, who came on stage wailing, “Y'all like hip-hop music?!” before diving into his mix of Flux Pavilion's, I Can't Stop. HeRobust accelerated as he spun his hit, Throw That (feat. Two Fresh), instantly turning the venue into a club with its urban-infused beats. Nearing the end of his set, the Atlanta native drew riotous cheers from the crowd when he asked, “Ya'll ready to see Pretty Lights up in this bitch?!” The audience went wild! “YES” shook the house. HeRobust said his goodbyes with a quirky, yet genuine, “Have fun tonight, be safe and shit,” before throwing down the mic and exiting the stage.
After a quick twenty minute break for setup, Pretty Lights stormed the stage to deafening screams and raucous applause. Smith was backed by a full band. On drums, Adam Deitch (of Break Science), keyboards, Brian Coogan and Borahm Lee, Scott Flynn (of John Brown's Body) on trombone, and Eric Bloom (of Lettuce) on trumpet. Touring with a band was described by Smith as “a dream come true.” The collaborative efforts of the musicians proved to be electric, with their organic mixture of old favorites like, Hot Like Sauce, were woven in with jams from Pretty Lights' newest album, A Color Map Of The Sun, featuring Color Of My Soul, Yellow Bird, and Let's Get Busy. The crowd stood mesmerized as Derek's signature vibes were silhouetted by a truly stunning laser and strobe light show.
The venue, which had been steadily filling up with fog throughout the night, transformed into a musical utopia for the ages: the lighting fused with the fog to create a heavenly atmosphere which was intensified by Pretty Lights placid, chilled-out beats. The lighting intensified with Still Night, a track ripe with hip-hop bits from The Alkaholiks' The Next Level, and O.V. Wright's The Hurt Is Real. The elemental fog enriched the space-age accents of The Cyrkle's track, It Doesn't Matter Anymore.
So, “What makes the motherfucker so damn fresh?”
A DJ, a band, some fog, an enthusiastic crowd, and some really, super Pretty Lights!