Broadway and Maple | 3.31.11
In a crazy turn of events, Pretty Lights music producer Derek Vincent Smith played an impromptu 2 a.m. set in a small garage near the corner of Maple and Broadway last night. No fliers, no advertising, not even a press release -- just the simple word of mouth of all the adoring fans of Smith's unique beats and samples. There were rumors of the set abounding at Skrillex last night, but judging by the few people who actually made it down, everyone pretty much shrugged it off as just that. The few who were on hand, though, were treated to the intimate performance of a lifetime that made everyone feel, for real, more important than Michael Jordan.
Smith didn't bother with any openers; instead, he showed up and plugged all his gear into the power strip, threw up a quick light board and got to it. With an upcoming show at Red Rocks this summer, he gave the small crowd that packed into the garage a sneak preview of some of the new tracks he'll be releasing.
He opened with the good stuff -- namely, "Hot Like Dimes" and "More Important Than Michael Jordan" -- and the three-car garage was nearly taken down from all the fist-pumping and head-nodding. The lack of medical professionals had some scared that a dub-induced seizure could take over, but thanks to an old medical kit found in a box marked "Col. Stinson - Expired," the crowd was able to maintain control with the help of an old syringe full of a liquid that everyone assumed was morphine.
Before the set break, Smith played the newest track, "Same Old Shit," but it just didn't sound the same without a live drummer and 4,200 people standing around. The 32 people that packed in, excluding the bum who was stealing beer, still made it feel like it was backed by the power of Red Rocks with the sound of Bose noise-canceling headphones.
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Following the set break and a few people pissing on the outside of the garage, Smith came back in, took off his flat-billed hat and gave it to one lucky fan...who was then mobbed by the 31 other fans, all of whom went home with a little piece of Smith's hat. The beer-stealing bum was long gone by then, as the liquor stores were all closing and he had to get his vodka on before last call.
Smith closed with an original song that consisted of 13 different samples from 17 different songs. When everyone came out of their dub-comas, we all realized that it was, in fact, just a Simon and Garfunkel song played backward and sped up. Never again will I ever think of going to Scarborough Fair in the same way.
All in all, it was a rare, intimate performance, complete with beer, music, bros, stylish chicks and lots of whomp. For the best show of the year that never happened, it was amazing. It's a safe bet that there will probably be nothing like it ever again.