Friday night at The First Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado was the first of two nights which welcomed Colorado's own Derek Vincent Smith, known by most as Pretty Lights. The 9,500 plus in attendance came to dance and the lineup for the party did not dissappoint. It is pretty amazing to think how far Pretty Lights has come a long in such a short period of time, I still recall seeing him a few years ago when I lived in Fort Collins. Back then his setup was simple, with only a few strobes thrown in for good measure. Nowadays, he brings a light show unparalled in the industry.
Opening the night's festivities was labelmate SuperVision whose unique style and old school approach set him apart from the rest of the Pretty Lights roster. He kept the early crowd energized with danceable tracks and skillful scratching often associated with the hip hop genre, all while keeping it in the realm of electro. Flanked with his customary Texas Rangers baseball cap, Richard Blake Hansen gives hip hop a unique element of electro unheard of anywhere else.
Next up was heavy hitter Porter Robinson. Rumor has it that Porter was upset about the lighting, which prompted his reaction to bring it hard. Yup, he abosutely did. With a performance and crowd reaction often associated with a headliner, Porter Robinson unleashed his barrage of bass with no avail. Sampling an array of tracks, it was his version of Avicii's "Level" that set the crowd into a frenzy. He also managed to subtly incorporate his version of the Skrillex dance track "A Little Bit More", that wowed the crowd sending them into an all out synchronized bounce once the bass line dropped. Porter was having a great time motivating the crowd to dance, a participation that is dissolving among artists that play the same set time after time. It seems that only the passionate artists appreciate the crowd as much as the crowd appreciates them.
The crowd was in a full frenzy once Pretty Lights stage was being set-up, flanked with the house music which blarred out Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" a perfect primer for what was about to go down. The house lights dimmed and Pretty Lights took the stage for what ended up becoming a full, 3-hour set that left the sold out crowd in a euphoric stage (literally). One great thing about a Pretty Lights show is that you will never see a show as same any other. This night he incorporated a mix of old and hit us with a few new tracks that will only escalate the level of anticipation for his next album. He maintained a downtempo feel all night while reaching back into his old hip hop roots with a set that left the often rowdy Pretty Lights crowd to soak in every ounce of musical bliss. It was a couple of notable favorites that stood out the most including a full crowd sing along of "Finally Moving", and his version of Kanye West's "All of The Lights". He managed to drop some of his well know remixes including his Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle" which was a major hit during his performance earlier this year at Red Rocks. Other notable tracks were "Aimin' at Your Head", and "Gazing at The Glare" which went perfect with his hip hop inspiration for the night. All in all, the crowd was left with a notion that Pretty Lights' set can evoke different states of emotion throughout a show.