Morrison, CO – Pretty Lights has done it again. Two nights of back-to-back shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – completely sold out. (Is it any surprise?) Nearly every show in Colorado has been a full house since the debut of Derek Vincent Smith’s album, Filling Up The City Skies in 2008, and our PL kingpin shows no sign of slowing down. Rapper and producers Eligh and The Grouch opened up Friday night, setting the tone with smooth hip-hop beats, including their Living Legends hit ‘Remember Who You Are’. The crowd’s anticipation for Smith’s break loose was egged on by a five-minute countdown, which clicked away on a large screen above stage. Finally, the timer ran out and Derek dropped the beat, followed by a wild eruption of glow sticks, light rays, and bubbles crowd-wide.
Derek’s set included some of his greatest hits from both Filling Up The City Skies discs: ‘My Other Love’, ‘Up & Down I Go’, ‘The Time Has Come’, ‘Hot Like Sauce’, ‘I Know The Truth’, and an unforgettably explosive transition between ‘How We Do’ and ‘Aimin At Your Head’. Songs from Glowing In The Darkest Night like ‘Out of Time’ and ‘So Much in the Dark’ also flowed through the set list. Before closing out, DVS called Eligh and The Grouch back on stage to debut the trio’s new collaborative single, ‘Let’s Get Busy’, to be released at a later date. The song’s tone was too mellow and neutral for the liveliness of the crowd and was evidently hit by a plateau of energy. A joint effort between Smith and renowned rappers Eligh and The Grouch has every potential to be an incredible venture – hopefully their next song has more soul.
Saturday night’s vibe was nothing short of meteoric from the get go though. Openers from PL’s music label included high energy SuperVision, electro-blues hip-hop guru Gramatik, and the heavy base beats of Break Science. Once again, Smith waited for the end of a countdown to galvanize the stage, starting off with new songs revved by heavy beats and plenty of funk. He followed with the greatest singles he left out from the previous night: ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, ‘Who Loves Me’, ‘My Other Love’, and ‘Finally Moving Remix’, from Filling Up the City Skies, with ‘I Can See It In Your Face’ and ‘Total Fascination’ from Making Up A Changing Mind.
The nostalgic-pulling single ‘We Must Go On’, played with the music video streaming behind the set, just before Smith threw on his remix of Pink Floyd’s renowned hit ‘Time’ — for which the crowd (understandably) completely unhinged. As for the ever-forward motion of time, one thing’s for sure: Smith has a way of stopping it. The beats in his songs demand the crowd’s attention and that’s why they keep coming back for more. This weekend at Red Rocks was truly unbelievable and so is everything that Derek and the whole PL family has been up to. Stay tuned for Derek’s upcoming album and the rest of the Illumination Tour…so pumped!!
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