Pretty Lights sets Burlington aglow

Electronic music artist Pretty Lights — Derek Vincent Smith with drummer Adam Deitch — lit up Higher Ground last week for a sea of fans. “Tickets sold out at least two months prior to the date [of the concert],” Higher Ground house manager Z Mecca said. “It sold out both nights.” The Sunday night concert featured the captivating light show that they are famous for, utilizing the house lights as well as many smaller lights that changed colors and patterns in time with the music.  Between this and the electronic beats, the concert had a rave-like atmosphere. The energy level was sustained throughout the entire show, keeping the audience wanting more until the very end.  The encore may have been the most energetic song of all, featuring the opening act, Chali 2na, who rapped along with the techno tunes of Pretty Lights.  “The warm up rapper was awesome,” junior Courtenay Allen said. “The encore song Pretty Lights did [with him] was amazing.” Pretty Lights’ high energy and enthusiasm for being in Burlington was obvious, creating a bond with the audience, who were also clearly psyched to be there.  The audience’s attire included bright colors and light-up elements, like gloves that had rainbow glowing fingertips and T-shirts with moving LED lights.  Pretty Lights played a number of their most popular songs, including “Finally Moving” and “Hot Like Sauce,” as well as material from their newest EP “Glowing in the Darkest Night.” Hundreds of people were jumping and dancing to the beat for hours. “It had great energy and everyone was just loving the music and Pretty Lights loves Burlington so they really got into it,” Allen said. This seemed to be the consensus among members of the audience.  “The show was great, both acts were spectacular,” sophomore Max Dansky said. “It was clear everyone was really loving the vibes.” Very much a college-centered show, much of the crowd consisted of students from UVM and other local colleges. “I would have to say that the majority [of that crowd] was college students,” Mecca said. With the rave-like atmosphere of an electronic, lights-centered show and a college-age crowd, it seemed to some that much of the audience was using drugs such as ecstasy and “molly” — a pure form of MDMA. “Like 90 percent of the people there were on some type of psychedelic,” Allen said. “My friend bought a ticket from a random guy on Facebook and he asked her if she wanted some molly to go with it.” After playing until 2 a.m. on Sunday night, Pretty Lights made an appearance at a party in Burlington. “One of my friend’s friends knew the opening act’s manager and so we offered to have the [after] party in our basement,” senior Ryan Waingortin said. Pretty Lights ended the night by coming to the party, playing for a while and then hanging out with their fans, Waingortin said. “[Pretty Lights] love coming here,” Mecca said. “It was the first two-night stand they did on their whole tour, so they were super psyched that [first] night to have a night that they didn’t have to load all that stuff out and just kind of focus on the music, you know.”