Pretty Lights and Co. invade Omaha

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By Cody Willmer – Circulation Manager

On a chilly night, much of the city’s youth and youthful gathered at local historical musical hotspot Sokol Auditorium to see Grammatik, VibeSquaD and the evening’s headliner Pretty Lights.  The cold weather couldn’t stop a sold out crowd from dancing themselves clean on Nov. 15. The fact that it was a Monday could not stop a hearty crowd from showing up to get funky to the deep beats of some electro musicians.

At $22, the show was a steal. That’s a mighty fine price to pay to see three incredible electronic groups.

The opening group, Gramatik, came all the way from Slovenia to support Pretty Lights on his fall tour. Gramatik did an amazing job of kicking off the show at 9 p.m. Gramatik played everything from house to break beats and drum’ n’ bass. Gramatik’s one hour set was highlighted by his final song, a remix of alternative rock band Muse’s song “Knights of Cydonia.” The song had the crowd dancing relentlessly for at least six minutes.

The second act, VibeSquaD, comes to us from Colorado. Although VibeSquaD is helping open for only one other Pretty Lights show this fall, he left his mark on Omaha. VibeSquaD did not play as many up-tempo electronic beats as Grammatik, but his chill-out style music was perfect for the crowd to conserve energy for the much-anticipated Pretty Lights.

Headliner Pretty Lights, fronted by Derek Vincent Smith (the mastermind behind the electro sound) and accompanied by drummer Adam Deitch, took the stage just before midnight. The crowd had no idea the two had snuck on stage because the stage was pitch black. In the blink of an eye a brilliant white “Pretty Lights” sign flipped on. The crowd went into frenzy as soon as beats began pounding through the speakers. The deep bass, hip-hop and electro beats were crisp all night and were accompanied by a fantastic L.E.D. light show.

The group played crowd favorites like “Aimin’ at Your Head,” “Finally Moving,” and my favorite “Hot Like Sauce.” The artists did a fantastic job of keeping the crowd engaged for a long, smooth set. It seemed like the show would be ending right around 1 a.m. when the group left the stage. The crowd was obviously surprised when the duo came back on stage for an hour-long encore.

Pretty Lights played songs from all three of his previous albums, as well as songs from a trilogy of EP’s released this year.

The show was fantastic.  The only thing I could have asked for was better stage lights and lots and lots of lasers. The electro show on Monday night was a spectacular cap to a weekend of electro that included the likes of Girl Talk (also at Sokol), and a gnarly Gunk hosted by the Waiting Room Lounge. Until next time, keep the music playing, the beats pumping, and volume blasting.

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