PRETTY LIGHTS at RED ROCKS | 8/13/11
The second sold out night of the Pretty Lights Music showcase was the perfect way to end a hometown run for Derek Vincent Smith, who plays music under the Pretty Lights moniker. With some help from Big K.R.I.T., Michael Menert, Gramatik and Skream, Smith delivered a show with immaculate production. We figured since it is called Pretty Lights, you might want to see some. Click through for video (just added) and photos.
Big K.R.I.T., Michael Menert, Gramatik and Skream all joined Smith for the night. Krit opened with some hard raps, but looking like he was having a blast on stage. Something about Krit is that he is always smiling when he raps, and that positive energy is contagious because everyone in Red Rocks was feeling his flow. Gramatik and Menert played similar sets to those of Friday, but the audio at Red Rocks really pushes the sound of the music.
Skream's set had a few bumps, including one point in which he simply stopped the track to start over because, he presumably missed the drop. He sampled everything from Nicki Minaj to Rage Against the Machine to Skrillex's remix of Benny Benassi's "Cinema." His attempts to pull the crowd in were good, but it wasn't until his dedication to his new son that people started to connect. Skream is a great DJ, but producers like Menert and Gramatik are probably intimidating to try and one-up, especially on Menert's home-turf.
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Smith unleashed the Pretty Lights beast again, but it was a much gentler giant. The atmosphere was a little slower than Friday night, but still everyone enjoyed it immensely. Again, it seems Smith is going back to his roots coming home to Colorado with hits like "Hot Like Sauce," and even as far back as "More Important than Michael Jordan," but it was with remixes like "Fly Like an Eagle" that really had everyone grooving. The nostalgia of old songs is great, but when his old sound is brought out in new songs, Smith thrives. The older hits have a much stronger hip-hop persona about them, whereas some of the newer stuff really shows where Smith is taking the Pretty Lights project in terms of glitch and electro-samples.