Pretty Lights w/Cosby Sweater, Paul Basic, and Eliot Lipp @ Old National Centre Egyptian Room-Indianapolis, IN 11/14/12

Most shows during the middle of the week on a brisk fall evening wouldn’t even come close to selling out, but an event headlined by Pretty Lights isn’t like most shows. The Indy Mojo event featuring PL, Eliot Lipp, Paul Basic, and Cosby Sweater nearly did sell out and proved to be a special night for attendees. Local act Cosby Sweater kicked off the evening, but due to odd restrictions drummer Richard “Sleepy” Floyd(also of The Native Sun) wasn’t allowed to join the rest of the trio. That didn’t stop David Embry(also of Embryonic Fluid) and Nicholas Gerlach(also of The Twin Cats) from putting on an amazing set.  Cosby forged ahead with an eclectic mixture of Embry churning out heavy electronic beats and Gerlach’s perfectly timed usage of both the Tenor Saxophone and EWI(electronic wind instrument). The jazz element was a perfect compliment to the electro-paced tempo. It was clear the two were having fun, which fueled the energy of the amassing crowd. Cosby Sweater’s one-two punch of “Indiana Song” and their remix of Outkast’s “So Fresh & So Clean” sent the crowd into a dance frenzy, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. Their set was solid, despite the absence of a drummer.

Next up was Paul Basic, a fellow member of PL’s record label, Pretty Lights Music. Basic flowed seamlessly between up tempo melodies with intricate bass chops, down tempo beats, and heavy dub build ups and breakdowns. Pretty Lights’ influence on his music was obvious, but lacked the pizzaz of PL’s showmanship and stage setup. The highlight Basic’s set was his remix of I Monster’s “Daydream in Blue.” Basic was followed by fellow Pretty Lights Music artist Eliot Lipp, no stranger to the EDM community. Lipp’s set showed a new side of his musical prowess. Normally, his music features only down tempo beats, but this set included quicker tempos with breaks containing jazz elements. I was impressed with how Lipp’s music has evolved over the years. His nearly perfect set perfectly primed the crowd for Pretty Lights.

After a short intermission, it was time for Pretty Lights to wow the crowd musically and visually. His awe-inspiring stage setup is the best in the business and equally as impressive as his musical production. From the start, his music featured perfectly mixed components of blues, rock & roll, and hip hop. The beautiful melodic grooves were highlighted with perfectly executed use of lasers, lights, and his projection screen stage setup. His mixing of Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G’s tracks and laser blasts filling the room took the crowd to another dimension. I was wowed by his perfectly produced cocktail of melodic grooves, high energy beats, and well-executed breaks during this part of the show. These elements in conjunction with his stage presence and amazing stage setup culminated in the best live presentation of electronic music currently being produced. It is easy to forget about the incredible projection setup with all of the lights and lasers flashing above, until your eyes look toward the stage and witness the visual insanity taking place.  PL pushed the boundaries further during “Finally Moving”, relentlessly pushing the music and his light show faster and harder. This fueled the crowd, who welcomed the increasing intensity by dancing like fools, present company included.

The second half of his set featured newly produced music. His new tracks contained dark and spooky bass drops to contrast bright and happy melodies, sounding somewhat different from past PL work. I enjoyed the new stuff very much. It featured tight breaks, the dirty bass was pleasingly raunchy, and mixes were very crisp. It is clear he has mastered his signature sound, but isn’t afraid to explore different avenues in his music. Furthermore, PL’s new stuff included glitch hop elements. It sounded different from his past work, but equally as impressive. In typical fashion, his glitches were well executed and perfectly timed. He was a true maestro, using his music to manipulate his audience beautifully.  Honestly, it was one of the best dance parties I’ve ever been a part of or witnessed. Indy Mojo created the perfect event with every artist delivering incredible music, especially Pretty Lights and Cosby Sweater. I’ll definitely be attending Cosby Sweater’s upcoming show with Digital Tape Machine on December 6, also an Indy Mojo event. Don’t miss out on this event, it is the cd release party for Cosby Sweater and will surely be another dance amazing dance party.Words by: Alex Toy

Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter(Wide Aperture Images)