Just weeks after announcing the 2017 Pretty Lights episodic installations at the Gorge in George, Washington and the Island of Light festival in Puerto Rico, Derek Vincent Smith has upped the game with two more announcements – only they aren’t fully public quite yet. In an attempt to keep the news organic and available to his fans first, PL anonymously sent 50 lucky #PLFamily members a FedEx package with a wooden USB drive filled with 20+ unreleased live “flips” from Euphoria (2017), Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (2017), and Telluride (2016). The recipients, 25 to Colorado and 25 to Chicago, were instructed to not only share the music across the Internet, but to also spread the news that Pretty Lights Live will officially be returning to Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO on August 11-12 as well as Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago, IL on August 18th-19th.

Check out the soft announcements below:

[Photos by Coleman C. Holloway and Bobby Toth]

It is in the hands of these recipients to distribute the live “flips” to the enormous Pretty Lights fanbase, who can now confirm that they will return to both Colorado and Chicago in 2017.

As a pioneer of using a live band during his performances, Pretty Lights has been constantly refining and evolving how to incorporate other musicians into his act since the inception of the the Analog Future Band back in 2013, Pretty Light’s first exploration of the idea. After the Analog Future Band disbanded last year, Smith put together a new band, Pretty Lights Live, to help him continue innovating on his integration of other musicians during his Pretty Lights sets.

Pretty Lights Live brings a more freeform aspect to its shows because of its focus on group improvisation and, more or less, group jamming. The keystone to this live improvisation is “flips,” moments when Smith slowly fades out a produced track and the band takes over, switching over to a more electronic sound and moving through a completely live, improvised instrumental segment. Learn more about “flips” here.

We last experienced an iteration of Pretty Lights’ innovative approach to live music in New Orleans, when he led a non-traditional second line through the streets on the final day of Jazz Fest, and ended up under an overpass to perform a surprise pop-up show. It was there that he debuted a new song “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds,” of which we are excited to share more details about, from the mouth of Derek Vincent Smith himself, tomorrow on L4LM.

[photo by Phierce Photo]