LIB recap: 8 things I saw at Pretty Lights

Pretty Lights performs Saturday night at Life Is Beautiful.
Photo: Fred Morledge

1. The inside of a dark porta-potty. For some reason, there were no lights in the Ambassador stage’s restroom tent, where Pretty Lights’ beats rumbled all that plastic into a weird, jittery chorus.

2. Captain America and the Pope, dancing gleefully toward the stage with various props in hand.

3. Lasers. Pretty Lights’ set lived up to his name with a visual display that painted the Downtown sky like the Northern Lights, washed so many tired faces in glowing color and evoked a June night at the Speedway, albeit on a much smaller scale.

4. The silhouette of Colorado producer Derek Vincent Smith, aka Pretty Lights, who blended hip-hop, dance music and blazing horns with heavy hits of bass for a highly danceable set that closed out Life Is Beautiful Day 1 on an exuberant note.

5. Hats: baseball hats, straw hats, top hats, Native American headdresses, spirit hoods and a tiny, sequined top hat in the hand of a woman dressed as a sort of vintage magician.

6. The swirling spotlights of Life Is Beautiful, letting all of Las Vegas know that a wild convening of creativity was happening Downtown. It must have looked incredible from the air.

7. A visual mashup that played across the Ambassador stage’s screens, with images of spray paint, sheet music, chain link fence, urban skyline and abstract shapes all doused in shades of neon.

8. A crowd actually dancing—not jump-and-pump DJ-worshipping. Even after hours of standing on asphalt on an unseasonably hot October day, the Pretty Lights faithful were moving, grooving like people balancing on a waterbed, hopping into a frenzy, embracing a beautiful end to a beautiful day in Downtown Las Vegas.

Photo of Sarah Feldberg

Sarah Feldberg

Get more Sarah Feldberg
  • At this point, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition.

  • Bassist Nate Brenner partners with leader Merrill Garbus for an approachable and dancey record.

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story