Last weekend, music fans gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the final day of 400 Festival on July 22nd. Making an appearance at this festival was the one and only Derek Vincent Smith, better known by his musical alias, Pretty Lights. 400 Fest was different from Smith’s other sets this year, as it marked his first solo set of 2017 as well as since the first night of Pretty Lights’ two-day Telluride, Colorado, event back in 2016.
During his 400 Fest performance, Smith explored his large and always-expanding discography, playing crowd favorites such as “Finally Moving,” “Hot Like Sauce,” “More Important Than Michal Jordan,” “High School Art Class,” and “I Know The Truth.” On top of these crowd pleasers, Smith blessed long time Pretty Lights fans with a number of remixes that rarely make it into live performances, such as “Fly Like An Eagle (Steve Miller Band Remix),” “Time (Pink Floyd Remix),” and the Pretty Lights vs Led Zeppelin mix. Smith also played his newest single “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds” showing that even as Derek plays an old school Pretty Lights set, he is still pushing forward in his musical endeavors. However, this is only where this story begins.
Pretty Lights fan can recall that earlier this summer, Smith sent out USB drives containing unreleased “Flips” from season one of his Episodic Festivals, using the USBs to simultaneously announce his Red Rocks (August 11 & 12) and Chicago (August 18 & 19) dates for 2017. As Pretty Lights Live gears up for the second season of their highly-anticipated Episodic Festivals, Smith pushed the envelope even further with the announcement of the “Pretty Lights Movement”—a movement that aims to incorporate fans into Smith’s long-standing and supportive creative community through the sharing of art, friendship, and inspiration. Following his set at 400 Fest, Smith entrusted some of his fans with the ultimate gift, yet another USB stick.
The USB drive from 400 Fest contained sixteen tracks, straight from the Pretty Lights’ archive. To say these tracks are rare would be an understatement. The first two tracks on the USB were played at Pretty Lights’ infamous 2014 Red Rocks shows: the first is a remix of The Root’s “The Seed 2.0″ entitled “Don’t Ask” followed by a remix of Pretty Lights’ original “Wrong Platform.” Featuring the Colorado Symphony Orchestra taking Pretty Lights’ music to the next level,”Don’t Cost You Nothing” is sure to send chills through listeners’ bodies. The USB also contains “So Gangsta,” the ultimate summer jam that was also performed at Pretty Lights’ 2014 Red Rocks show, and “It’s All Because Of You” from Red Rocks 2015. When Derek Vincent Smith began the hashtag #plflix on his Instagram, he teased a track that fans had never heard before and haven’t heard since. The full version of this track, “Make It To The Top,” makes its debut on the USB. The last known track on the USB is a quick-minute mix of the iconic “No Rain” by Blind Melon.
For those of you doing the math, there are seven songs listed above that made it onto the USB. The remaining nine tracks are never-before-heard tracks. These tracks vary in mood and tempo but all share the signature Pretty Lights sound that Smith has maintained over his eleven-year career. In the spirit of community, sharing, and furthering the Pretty Lights Movement, all sixteen of these tracks are available to listen to on the “Rarities” page via Soundcloud and at prettylightslive.com. Go ahead, listen to the past, while we prepare ourselves for the future of Pretty Lights!
[Photo via Jeremy Scott]