Enigmatic electronic producer Pretty Lights, real name Derek Vincent Smith, has broken a five-year silence to announce the 2023 Soundship Spacesystem Tour. The extensive outing, due to stretch from early August through early December, will feature 27 total dates in nine cities, plus festival appearances at Suwannee Hulaween (10-/26–10/29) and Cascade Equinox Festival (9/22–9/24).
The string of concerts—the first live Pretty Lights shows since a pair of 10th anniversary live-band performances in 2018—will include a pair of new live Pretty Lights formats, PL Live in DUB and The Fantastic Pretty Lights, featuring familiar musical collaborators Michal Menert, Borahm Lee, Alvin Ford Jr., and Chris Karns. The announcement also promises “musical and visual special guests.”
Pretty Lights heralded the news on Tuesday morning with a two-minute video posted to his long-dormant social media accounts. In the sci-fi-stylized announcement video, Smith borrows a verse from the country classic “Highwayman”, written by Jimmy Webb and popularized by Johnny Cash with The Highwaymen. Through a cosmic web of vocal effects, he sings, “I’ll fly a starship across the universe divide, and when I reach the other side, I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Pretty Light again. Or I may simply be a single drop of rain, but I will remain, and I’ll be back again.”
The video goes on to rattle off the various stops included as part of the tour. In a later post, Pretty Lights revealed that each of the cities listed would host multiple-night runs of concerts. Stops include Denver, CO’s Mission Ballroom (8/6–8/6), Dillon, CO’s Dillon Amphitheater (8/10–8/12), Atlanta, GA’s The Eastern (8/24–8/26), Philadelphia, PA’s Franklin Music Hall (9/14–9/14), Brooklyn, NY’s The Brooklyn Mirage (9/29–9/30), Chicago, IL’s The Salt Shed (10/19–10/21), Pelham, TN’s The Caverns (11/3–11/4), San Francisco, CA’s The Warfield (11/9–11/11), and New Orleans, LA’s Mardi Gras World (12/1–12/2).
The tour poster, designed by Leif Podhajsky, Mike Tallman, and Michal Menert, bills the shows as “Live From The Swirl Bridge,” perhaps a reference to a special production element of the performances. Listed visual collaborators for the tour include LazerShark, Anti-Alias, and Volt Peaking.
Artist Pre-Sale Tickets for the 2023 Pretty Lights Soundship Spacesystem Tour go on sale on Wednesday April 5th at 10:00 a.m. local venue time. General public on-sale begins on Friday, April 7th at 10:00 a.m. local venue time. Tickets for the shows at The Caverns in Pelham, TN will go on sale at a later date, to be announced. Sign up on Seated for first access to pre-sales and stay tuned for further details. For specific ticketing and pre-sale sign-up information and VIP options, visit the Pretty Lights website.
The long-awaited Pretty Lights tour announcement arrived alongside a message from Derek Vincent Smith in which he hints at even more news to come. “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and am immensely grateful to be healthy and happy and surrounded by amazing people,” he wrote. “I feel recharged and more ready than ever to launch a new vision of PL music and live events. Can’t wait to share everything that’s coming. … It’s a new dawn and I can’t wait to see you all again shining bright.”
Related: Hulaween Announces 2023 Lineup: SCI, TAB, Pretty Lights, Goose, Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade, More
Many fans are hoping that these hints point to new music from Pretty Lights, who has become increasingly selective with his official output in the last decade. Since the release of his acclaimed 2013 LP, A Color Map of the Sun, the only new Pretty Lights music has come in the form of a brief 2014 EP, The Hidden Shades, and a pair of singles, 2017’s “Strawberry Letter 23” flip “Rainbows & Waterfalls” and 2016’s mellow “Only Yesterday”.
Watch the Pretty Lights Soundship Spacesystem Tour announcement video, check out the tour poster, view a full list of tour dates, and read the full message from Derek Vincent Smith below.
PL :: starship ANNOUNCE
[Video: Pretty Lights]
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram