Pretty Lights rave in Atlanta

Live review: Pretty Lights at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, 10/29/10

Pretty Lights is far from a household name in America. Even less known is Derek Vincent Smith, the one-man rave machine known as Pretty Lights. Hailing from Colorado, Smith has been doing his thing since 2006, when he released Taking Up Your Precious Time. In 2008, this was followed by Filling Up The City Skies and Passing By Behind Your Eyes in 2009. Soon, he was a well-respected DJ who has mastered digital sampling, electronica, and hip-hop beats.

Early in 2010, Smith vowed to release a trilogy of three EPs before year’s end. He accomplished that with the excellent chest thumping of Making Up A Changing Mind (3/2), Spilling Over Every Side (7/29), and Glowing In The Darkest Night (10/22). It seems that Pretty Lights is cruising on a full tank of gas with little chance of running out.

Incidentally, Smith has offered up all his music downloads at http://www.prettylightsmusic.com for free. But please, throw a few bucks his way when you download.

To be at the Tabernacle in Atlanta for the Pretty Lights show was to be a kid again. It was Halloween weekend and many in the sold-out and standing room only crowd were in full costume. And most of those were the youth of America. Imagine the wildest, loudest, most sardine-like prom you can, then multiply it times a thousand and you’ll get the picture. This was a good ol’ fashioned rave and these kids were all in.

Smith seemed to be revered as a god, with his sunglasses and hoodie. But he earned it. The music was fantastcally incredible. If any of the older fellas in the crowd were expecting to hear radio staples, they were sadly mistaken – or happily mistaken. Their teenage daughters had told them it would be good. There is evidence that the ground was shaking as much as a mile away in downtown Atlanta. “Is that an earthquake?” “No, it’s Pretty Lights!”

Just this year, Smith added drummer Adam Deitch to the live shows. Deitch brings a live rhythm section to Smith’s Mac and other digital controllers. Suddenly, it was a rock and roll rave. From the first beat, the crowd was jumping, surfing, and celebrating.

If you like STS9, Bassnectar, or Mimosa, then it’s your civic duty to check out Pretty Lights. You will not be sorry.

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