Pretty Lights at The First Bank Center: New Year's Eve: Review


Thank you, Jake Fling, for sharing this video with us!

Before you go any further, if you haven't read Castro's review of the first night, do that first. The show on the 30th was an absolutely amazing performance but it was a warmup for the main event, the New Years Eve party. The crowds were louder, the lights brighter, and the bass hit heavier. The First Bank Center hosted the event for both nights, and while it can hold almost 10,000 people, it couldn't hold the level of enthusiasm that this crowd brought with it; this night was set up for an epic performance to be remembered. 

Starting the night off was one of Ultra’s newest favorite DJs, Colorado native Paul Basic.  Working the crowd, he started the New Year’s celebration off right, getting everyone into the groove.  It is obvious that he appreciates being able to do what he loves, especially in front of the home crowd.  This enthusiasm beamed like the strobe lights that lit up the crowd.  His humbleness carries with him off the stage as well; Ultra5280 got to meet with him recently and you can tell he is a great person and talented producer. 

Hailing from Germany and only 22 years old, house DJ Anton Zaslavski, also known as DJ Zedd, was one of the best surprises of the night. He hit the stage after Paul Basic to bridge the gap before Pretty Lights. I'm going to be honest, I hadn't heard much of Zedd's music before Saturday so I didn't have any expectations but I was blown away by the performance.  The beats were fast, the bass was heavy, and the remixes all managed to sound unique.  Frankly, his remixes are the one of the main things that stick with me from the night.  Each song started out easily recognizable before immediately bursting into something completely unique, while keeping the theme of the original song.  I know, I know, that's what a remix is supposed to be, but when it's done well, it's a thing of beauty and no less masterful than the original song.  Zedd played to the crowd spectacularly, and I really can't think of a better way to lead up to Pretty Lights.

During the final preparations before Pretty Lights took the stage the energy and anticipation in the venue hit another level that I've personally never experienced.  And then it happened, the lights dimmed, Pretty Lights took the stage, and a wave of lights, lasers, and bass filled us.  It was then that we realized just how far Pretty Lights has come in such a short period of time. Pretty Lights has found such a loyal following because his music speaks to everyone on a personal level.; it hits them to the core. It's as if he is playing to each person individually even amongst 10,000 other people. 

Pretty Lights built up the crowd for the hour before midnight with a smattering of his best songs. Playing new stuff and then bringing us back to the beginning.  A few hits of the night include "I Know the Truth", "Down the Line", and "Hot Like Sauce".  Pretty Lights played his own rendition of The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider" among other popular remixes.  Closing in on midnight, he hit us with Europe's "Final Countdown". This remix has become a Pretty Lights tradition for the New Year's countdown (and one that I hope to be apart of again). It seemed as if the clock would never reach midnight, like a school child waiting for that last bell before summer break, but then the giant LED on stage started it’s crawl to midnight...10 (this is happening) ...9 (oh shit it's really happening)...8 (don't pass out).... 7 (where's my camera) ....6 (don't forget to breathe) .... 5 (only seconds remain) ...4 (I don't want to be anywhere else) ... 3 (it's now approaching midnight) ... 2 (it's been a good year) ... 1 (next year will be even better) ....... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As we looked above a shower of balloons, confetti, and streamers rained down on us as the pretty lights (pun intended) bounced off the faces of everyone present. The quintessential party song, “Celebrate”, was the first song to hit our ears in 2012. The crowd was dancing and smiling as people hugged each other while volleying the giant balloons. There was almost a feeling of relief from the crowd; we had made it another year and were welcomed to 2012 by a favorite artist. Pretty Lights didn't wait long to remind us all that we were there to party long and party hard. He kept playing for another solid hour, stopping only to thank his fans, crew, friends, and family. One of the surprises from his set was a remix he was asked to do by Daft Punk. It was a solid track that I could've listened to on repeat all night. 

When all was said and done I couldn't think of a better way to ring in the New Year. I spent it listening to an amazing artist, hung out with amazing people, and worked with some of the most talented people I know. 

Here is to the start of an amazing year!!