Best Evidence That Giving Music Away Pays Off (2010)

Pretty Lights

Five consecutive sellouts at every major theater in the state. Five! On his own, or as the headliner: Aggie Theatre, Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre, Gothic Theatre, Ogden Theatre. Yeah, Derek Vincent Smith, who performs under the Pretty Lights moniker, is pretty much playing with the house's money at this point. While the recording industry scrambles to figure out just how to survive in the digital era, Smith is giving his music away on his website. All of it. Free. And clearly, the gambit has paid off, since those consecutive sellouts aren't just here in Colorado. Last year, Pretty Lights sold out sixty dates across the country, making it one of the most successful and sought-after independent acts out there right now. Smith, who just released another EP, Making Up a Changing Mind, is slated to issue two more by the end of the year. And this summer, accompanied by drummer Cory Eberhard, he'll bring his banging live show to Red Rocks. Trust us: This one's worth paying for.