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.
A Color Map of the Sun: Deluxe Version
5am In Brooklyn