Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pretty Lights w/Full Band @ The Myth - Maplewood, Minnesota 11/16/13 - "Future Analog Tour" (Review)

A Review By: Troy H. Manley
Derek Vincent Smith, better known by his stage name, PrettyLights, took the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) by storm last weekend selling out his Saturday show at The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota - a St. Paul suburb - during his one night stop on the Analog Future Tour. SIMshows, a staple EDM promoter in the Twin Cities, brought this huge name to town just a week after selling out the Aokify America Tour at EPIC Nightclub in Minneapolis. That was a crazy night in its own right, check out our coverage the Aokify America Tour HERE. But for now, back to Pretty Lights. I had never been to The Myth before, but everything I had heard about it was positive – other than the heavy handed security at the entrance – so I was pretty excited all around. There is a Days Inn less than a block from the venue that some of our friends booked a room at because of its proximity and low cost. DO NOT BOOK  A ROOM IN THAT GOD FORSAKEN HOTEL! Trust me, spend the extra money, stay at a Holiday Inn or something. It’s worth it. After partying a bit in the hotel room from hell, we decided to make the short walk over to the show. The 3,200 person capacity venue looks like an industrial warehouse of sorts from the outside - it’s a stand-alone structure in what appears to be a fairly commercial area. The will-call line took forever for us to make our way through so we ended up missing Paul Basic, which was a total bummer; yet, walking into the venue during Blood Diamonds was pretty sweet in its own right.

Coming in through the back left of the stage, the venue opens up into a general admission, multi- floor, concert utopia. There is a huge circle light installment that covers the entirety of the main dance floor, which you must take a staircase down into. The GA floor is lowered into the center, with a ground level around area wrapped around the sides that is home to bars, coat check, merch tables, and bathrooms.  There is also an upper balcony that wraps around the back and right side of the stage, and 3 VIP booths located on the upper left of the venue. The view from up top is pretty sweet and the support beams don’t cause much of a disturbance in your view – unlike at EPIC Nightclub. All of this exploring was while Blood Diamonds, a 6’9” Los Angeles native, took the stage by command. He skillfully switched between house & trap and kept the crowd going the whole night. It was pretty cool and I was definitely impressed this first time seeing him on the decks. I would definitely like to check him out again sometime and see if he can deliver a second time around.
Below: The Crowd Gets Fogged From Above
Pretty Lights took command of the stage around 11pm accompanied by his full band: Adam Deitch of Break Science on Drums; Brian Coogan of New Orleans All-Stars on Keyboard; Borahm Lee of Break Science on Keyboard; Scott Flynn of John Brown’s Body on trombone; and Eric Bloom of Lettuce on Trumpet. Having seen Pretty Lights twice previously, I was beyond excited to see this all-star lineup of musicians accompany this musical madman on stage.
 The band stood on raised platforms that were outlined in high powered LED’s that changed colors throughout the performance. Throughout the show Pretty Lights pulled tracks from every part of his catalog and the band members played an integral role in the composition of every live track. It was so awesome to see Pretty Lights with live horns. The funk just sounded so much funkier, and the jams sounded so much more alive with the help of all these musical technicians on stage with him while they pounded tracks like: “Color of my Soul,” “Lets Get Busy,” “More Important than Michael Jordan,” “Finally Moving,” One Day They’ll Know,” “I Know The Truth,” “Hot Like Dimes,” and that’s not even scratching the surface of what was played that night. At one point Derek hopped on the guitar and played a couple of riffs which was pretty sweet if you ask me.

But what was even sweeter were the lights. Holy shit, they were incredible. Easily one of the best light shows I have ever seen. I’m not sure what they were, maybe huge Co2 cannons installed in the circle fixture on the ceiling that got the whole room fogged up and the lasers in full effect. A huge shout out to the visual engineer for he was just as an integral part to the entire performance as each of the musicians themselves. Spot on all night and crisp as hell. I would definitely not miss Pretty Lights any time soon if he is coming to a city near you, it's well worth every penny you will spend making that concert happen. Big shout out to SIMshows for bringing this amazing act to the cities on a Saturday night. Check out their event calendar for all their upcoming shows. All photos are of Pretty Lights' laser show & performance by Troy Manley.


Post a Comment