Heady | adj. \’he-dē \

1. tending to intoxicate or make giddy or elated.
2. marked by or showing good judgment.
3. intellectually stimulating or demanding.

Aug 112014

This past weekend, Red Rocks Amphitheater saw the highly anticipated return of hometown hero, Derek Vincent Smith (DVS), better known as Pretty Lights, for a massive, sold out two-night stand. A couple of weeks prior to the show, DVS announced to that he would be accompanied on stage by some friends including his full band and a 13-piece string section from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for not one, not two, but THREE sets each night—one solo set, one with the band, and one with the band and strings. Needless to say, the excitement in the Red Rocks parking lots was palpable as the hordes of long-haired, blunt-smoking Pretty Lights Family members waited to rock with their leader once again.

Unsurprisingly both nights sold out in a matter of minutes after going on sale, but those lucky enough to come away with tickets were in for a very special, very intimate evening with one of the most prolific, forward-thinking producers in any genre of music. Filing into the rows of (arguably) the most beautiful outdoor venue in the world, fans were treated to an appetizer of refreshingly old school hip-hop beats mixed up by PLM homies Mikey Thunder and DJ Ginger. By about 8 p.m. (early by most standards) the rabble in the amphitheater exploded as Pretty Lights took to the stage for his opening solo set. As promised by the man himself, Pretty Lights threw down more than hour of smooth electro-soul including classic PL tracks like “Short Cut/Detour” as well as some deeper cuts like the poignant “We Must Go On,” and several remixes including “Wayfaring Stranger” and a lengthy rendition Bob Marley’s “Exodus” (my personal favorite).

Photo Credit: Krystle Blackburn

Photo Credit: Krystle Blackburn

As the sun dipped lower behind the mountains, the first set ended, but the hype continued as DJ Ginger reappeared, keeping the party rolling while DVS stepped into the crowd to take photos with his loyal, Colorado followers.
With the equipment all in place, Pretty Lights and the Analog Future band, featuring special guests like Adam Deitch (drums) and Borahm Lee (keys) of Break Science, as well as guitarist Eric Krasno and turntablist Chris Karns. Thus commenced another hour of tracks from PL’s most recent release A Color Map of the Sun as well as classic tracks like “Hot Like Sauce,” “Time Has Come,” and “High School Art Class,” which were brought to life in a completely new way by the band. The blend of old and new songs was certainly impressive and was welcomed by the well-versed crowd, but perhaps the greatest part of the second set (and the third for that matter) was the astonishing ability of the band to maintain the sound and complexity of each song as it was converted from a one-man recording to multi-layered masterpiece.

Even after more than two hours of grooving, fans were just as ready to get down when PL took the stage for his third and final set, this time, shadowed by 13 members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. The energy to this point was explosive, but it definitely reached a peak during the third set which brought to life some of the deepest, most beloved songs in PL catalogue including “Time Has Come,” “Change Is Gonna Come,” and “I Know the Truth.” The added element of the live string section gave each song a little extra intimacy as longtime PL fans were able to hear their favorite jams like never before. The night was capped off by the most spectacular rendition “Finally Moving” and its banging remix, and another successful Pretty Lights show at Red Rocks came to emotional close.

As Derek and his bandmates gathered and took a bow, I was deep in the throes of nostalgia, remembering my very first PL show which happened to be right there at Red Rocks in the summer of 2010. Back then, Pretty Lights was still relatively unknown to mainstream audiences; it was shortly after that first show that everyone seemed to be clued into this amazing artist. For the next couple of years, I rarely was able to see a PL show because they started selling out before I could get a ticket. But I was lucky this year. Not just because I miraculously got my hands on a (regular-priced) ticket, but because I was able to bear witness to something special—the evolution of an artist. As I watched and danced with a smile as wide as my eyes, thinking of how far PL has come over the years, I was overwhelmed by emotions as I thought of how far I have come in the same time. I was filled with appreciation for my life, family and friends, longing for the simpler days of my past, and anticipation of all the things yet to come, and I have Pretty Lights and his music to thank for stirring that up inside me.

See for yourself how far Pretty Lights has come over the years by downloading all of his work for free!

Follow Pretty Lights On: FacebookTwitterSoundcloudOfficial

 Posted by on August 11, 2014 Shows Tagged with: ,
May 042014

Pretty Lights could very well be the most prolific producer in all of electronic music. Regardless of how you feel about his music, you have to admit that Derek Vincent Smith must be one busy son of a bitch considering how much music he’s created over his career. Last summer, PL released what I thought was a pretty groundbreaking album, A Color Map of the Sun, and now he followed it up with a short release in honor of Record Store Day (which fell on 4/20) called The Hidden Shades which includes four B-sides from A Color Map of the Sun and four remixes of those songs done by Emancipator, Odesza, Blue Sky Black Death, and Love + Light. I don’t think I need to hype this that much—it is Pretty Lights after all—but this is another gem from the legend known as PL. On the down side, however, this special release is only available for stream unless you picked up a vinyl copy upon its release. In any case, enjoy!

Follow Pretty Lights On: FacebookTwitter SoundcloudOfficial

 Posted by on May 4, 2014 Album/EP, Chill, Downtempo, Dubstep Tagged with: , , ,
Mar 042014

We’ve seen talk about b-side productions off Pretty Lights’s ‘A Color Map of The Sun’ album, though none of that talk manifested into something we could actually dig into, until today at least. ‘Lost and Found’ was uploaded to the Colorado visionary’s SoundCloud earlier this afternoon and officially confirms that a series of b-sides from ACMOTS will be delivered to fans longing for some new PL vibrations. The newly released b-side cycles through a pensive and emotive slate of sounds, all pieced together in an articulate fashion that allows you to traverse through yet another wondrous musical journey created by the musical prowess of Derek Vincent Smith. Stay tuned for more info on the remaining b-sides to be released and dive into the visual manifestation of ‘Lost and Found’ with the official music video.

Pretty Lights: Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

 Posted by on March 4, 2014 Electro Tagged with: ,
Dec 182013

In an exclusive showcase on KCRW’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’, Pretty Lights and the band made an appearance on the program that gives us another up-close look at the live set up and treats our eyes and ears with a little mini-set of some songs from ‘A Color Map Of The Sun’. The short performance cycles through Color Of My Soul, Opiou’s remix of ‘Done Wrong’, Where I’m Trying To Go, Yellow Bird, and I Know The Truth and mid-way, Derek talks with Jason Bentley about the live rig, equipment, the fusion of 90’s hip-hop and 60’s soul, and gives us a time frame as to when we can anticipate a new album. Check out the full video below.

Pretty Lights: Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

 Posted by on December 18, 2013 News Tagged with:
Dec 062013

In the eyes of many the Grammy’s have lost credibility and acclaim. And if for whatever reason you feel like the Grammy’s just don’t meant much anymore these days, it is still noteworthy, after years of hard work and dedication, to see acts likes Pretty Lights make his way up on the list of Grammy nominations. This year, Pretty Lights’s ‘A Color Map of The Sun’ has been nominated in the category of “Best Dance/Electronica Album”. The album makes its way onto the list alongside Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’, Disclosure’s ‘Settle’ and albums by Kaskade and Calvin Harris. Though a biased opinion, a PL win would truly highlight the musical finesse and mastery of ‘A Color Map of The Sun’, though any win for the artists in the category would be a triumphant victory for the electronic music community. Full list of Grammy nominations.

Best Dance/Electronica Album

Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Settle — Disclosure
18 Months — Calvin Harris
Atmosphere — Kaskade
A Color Map of the Sun — Pretty Lights

H/T: LA Times

 Posted by on December 6, 2013 News Tagged with:
Dec 042013

BassLights is making its way back to Hampton, VA for its fourth resurgence. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster but with the recent round of additions, tickets sales are sure to spike. Big G is returning again for their second time at BassLights at the Coliseum, and will be accompanied by Michal Menert, Keys N Krates, and Datsik.

Buy Tickets Here

 Posted by on December 4, 2013 News, Shows Tagged with: , , , , ,
Dec 032013

Over the weekend Pretty Lights showcased the live band on Pay-Per View during their performance in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Center. Rips of the performance have been surfacing recently so if you’re interested in seeing what is shaped out to be like check out the video below. The band takes the stage a bit before the ten-minnute mark and plays straight through without intermission. There is a ton of fresh material packed within the video but be sure to keep an ear out for the live rendition of ‘Aimin’ At Your Head’ at 1:36:40, Coogan adds some amazing additions.

Pretty Lights: Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

 Posted by on December 3, 2013 Electro, Mixes, Shows Tagged with: , ,
Oct 252013

Elevating the excitement for the festival’s return in Colorado at the end of the year, Decadence has released the official after movie for last year’s event. The festival quickly captured the attention of electronic music fans when it released a staggering New Year’s Eve line-up consisting of Pretty Lights, Above & Beyond, Bassnectar, and Dada Life, only to hit us with the addition of Tiesto days later. If you’ve purchased tickets, are still contemplating attending, or not hooked yet, take a few minutes to soak in the official after movie. It reassures you that this is worth every penny and more, and if you’re still on the fence, you’ll end up on the right side.

Buy Tickets To Decandence

Decadence: Official | Facebook | Twitter

 Posted by on October 25, 2013 Festivals Tagged with: , , , , ,
Oct 222013

If you missed BassLights in Miami this past weekend, and were in attendance last year at the Hampton Coliseum, your wish has been granted as two night of Bassnectar & Pretty Lights is returning once again to Hampton, VA. Falling close to New Year’s Eve, BassLights will span the course of two days on December 27th and 28th. Pretty Lights will be accompanied by a full live band in addition to showcasing a new stage production on each night of the event. Bassnectar and Pretty Lights fan pre-sale starts at 12PM EST tomorrow, October 23rd. Pre-sale tickets are discounted tickets and have reduced ticketing fees if you don’t want to be robbed by Ticketmaster’s notoriously high servicing fees. Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 26th at 10AM EST via Ticketmaster. Supporting acts have yet to be announced.

Pretty Lights Fan Pre-Sale Tickets
Bassnectar Lights Fan Pre-Sale Tickets

 Posted by on October 22, 2013 Shows Tagged with: , , ,
Oct 212013

BassLights touched down in Miami, Florida this past weekend and while hundreds upon hundreds were able revel in its greatness, some of us were less fortunate. So if you missed it, check out a pretty decent quality video of Pretty Lights’s set from day 1 at Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park.

Love You Left Behind
You Get High
High School Art Class (Live Version)
Around The Block ft Talib Kweli
Around The Block (Datsik Remix)
I Know The Truth (Live Version)
Let’s Get Busy
Let’s Get Busy (Remix)
Vibe Vendetta
Vibe Vendetta (GRiZ Remix)
I Can See It In Your Face
Still Night (w/ Horn Section Solo)
Still Night (Gramatik Remix)
Yellow Bird

Pretty Lights: Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

 Posted by on October 21, 2013 Electro, Mixes, News Tagged with: ,