[Show Review] Pretty Lights – Red Rocks, Colorado 8/16, 8/17

There are some combinations that just make sense in this world. Peanut butter has jelly, macaroni has cheese, chalk has a chalkboard and socks have shoes. Now, what if you scale those combinations up a notch, and you add bananas to your sandwich and bacon to your mac and a sidewalk to your chalk, what happens then? Everything just gets that much better.

Red Rocks was recently named the best outdoor venue in the US by Rolling Stone Magazine. So let’s start there. After nearly three years, Derek Vincent Smith, the man we love as Pretty Lights, released an incredible new album “A Colored Map of the Sun” earlier this summer shooting Smith into another category of music genius. Smith took a year to go back the roots of music and work with real musicians and singers to create his funky, hip-hop sound he is renowned for and the risk paid off. Alright, so now we have Red Rocks and Pretty Lights.

Let’s add a live band, something Smith has never done before, and an insane laser and light show.There, there it is, the combination that just makes perfect sense.

This past weekend, Colorado’s EDM man himself came back for back-to-back shows on Friday and Saturday, to start the beginning of something truly special. Smith talked about wanting his fans to have a new kind of experience, a unique experience that will continue to grow into something magical for every person at every PL show. And in true PL fashion, he brought along some other talented musicians to shower the crowd with musical love. On Friday Talib Kweli and Blue Sky Black Death worked their magic while Saturday was full of PL label love, Michal Menert and Supervision showed why they are part of the PL family with their funk melodies and body dancing electronic beats.

Each night consisted of Smith playing with a live band that included a drummer, pianists, a trumpet player and a trombone player. Together, they played many of Smith’s new songs from his album, showing just how much more a live set can bring to a show. During the middle the band would take a break and Smith would play many of his beloved tracks such as “Sunday School” and “Hot Like Sauce”. Then the band would take over the stage again and carry the crowd until the end, never stopping to let any song linger, the feeling in the crowd was pure musical pleasure. This is something new for Smith, and there were people who were disappointed or unsure of his new concert approach but the truth is, Smith is being true to what he believes is great music and will continue on his journey to keep producing inspiring songs and shows for his loyal and new PL fans.

And that, well, there’s no better combination than taking one’s passion and combining it with a new journey.

’Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun: Deluxe Version’
’Love Me (SuperVision Rmx)’
’Michal Menert – Real Hiphop’
’Talib Kweli – 5am In Brooklyn’
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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Super Interview with Supervision

Close To Me ft. Jay Fresh

Raise your hand if you are proud to be a resident of the wonderful state of Colorado, native or not.

This weekend, one of the native music legends is making a return to his home state to take over the ears and hearts of all his fans for two nights. Derek Vincent Smith, better known as Pretty Lights, is heading to Red Rocks this Friday and Saturday to bring his Color Map of the Sun home for a spin.
On Friday, Smith will have special guests Talib Kweli and Blue Sky Black Death while Saturday, some of the talented artists on the PL Music Label will open the show.

One of those amazing artists is the electronic futuristic Supervision. Recently on the heels of releasing his new EP “Telekinetic” in June, Supervision is about to bring the funk, hip-hop and electronic sound to the Rocks. TMN was lucky enough to sit down with the artist and chat to his about his music history, his latest release and his love for hip-hop.

TMN: Today, I have the pleasure of sitting down with SuperVision one of the very talented Electronic/Hip-hop artists on the Pretty Lights label. Thanks for sitting down with us today, where are you writing to us from?

SV: Home sweet Texas. Dallas Tx currently.

TMN: Well let’s start way back from the start when you were just a kid. Was there music in your house as a child? Did either of your parents sing or play instruments?

SV: My parents listened to a lot of classic rock, and blues. Def some soul and disco. My dad played drums as a younger man and worked/managed nightclubs and venues in the south growing up.

TMN: And what about for you, did you have any musical background?

SV: I played sax in 6th grade. I Managed to be top 3 in chair most weeks but # 1 and 2 practiced while I did not. Later I learned to make a turntable an instrument with turntablism and practiced religiously. I guess because school made me pick something and djing was by choice.

TMN: One of the great things about your music is that you gather a lot of the sounds from electronic hip-hop of the late 80’s early 90’s. Was that music you were drawn to when you were younger and do you remember when was the first time you actually heard that type of sound?

SV: When I was 9 my uncle had just moved to New York and when he came back to visit, he brought back De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, and The Pharcyde. They remain my favorite hip hop groups of all time to this day. He gets a bulk of the credit for me developing the taste in music I have. Good hip hop and good hip hop beats are my foundations. I consider myself a hip hop dj. We will play any genre if it’s dope. We know how to cut and work a vinyl.

TMN: Now the other thing I noticed when reading about you, you have had 16 years of experience on turntables, 16 years that is crazy amazing! Can you tell us what inspired you to first get on the turntables and what continues to inspire you today to keep making crazy beats on the turntables?

SV: I had a friend who when I was 15 that was a house mucis dj who played in the local rave scene. Not long after I got my first pair of turntables. We went to this place called the Decibel in Dallas which was total warehouse style rave. Apparently the end of the scene because not long after it was over and raves were no more. This was my introduction to djing but within a few years some crucial things happened for me. I heard dj Shadow who to this day is my favorite artist of all time and my biggest influence. I also saw the documentary called “Scratch”. This was in 2001 when I was 18. There is something about a turntable that is holy to me. Holy in a way controllers are not. You can learn how to use controllers and be djing out in weeks. No one on the planet can go use turntablism and learn how to dj out in a few weeks. Any good scratch dj/turntablist has logged significantly more hours than the cats on controllers in the scene today. Bottom line it’s the real jedi master way. I like controllers too and I use some but I mix with turntables.

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