CAROLINE KOCH // ARTS EDITOR
Mr. Pretty Lights himself refers to the Etta James sample (“Oh sometimes, I get a good feeling, yeah…”) used in Avicii’s “LE7ELS” track, intravenously administered into the world’s party scene in 2011.
Of course though, Pretty Lights originally used the same sample for his 2006 debut album, “Taking Up Your Precious Time,” a fun fact Pretty Lights veterans like to draw attention to from time to time.
So when Smith told the sea of fans to get ready for the OG feeling, every hand shot up to the sky, confirming to him that we knew exactly what he was talking about. And almost as if a reward for our loyalty, the undeniable guitar riff intro of fan favorite“Finally Moving,” came at us like a high five.
Hip hop, soul funkmaster Pretty Lights has been on the electronic music scene for nearly a decade, working within a genre he not only pioneered, but perfected. After six LP/EP records, Smith released “A Color Map of the Sun,” this summer. An effort defined by its global influence and use of unique instruments, the album is so rich in instrumentation that it could only be done justice on tour with a fivepiece band.
Aptly named, the “Analog Future Tour” utilizes two keyboardists, a horns section and a drummer to round out the sound and punch through the soundsystem, so much so that the hairs on my arms were vibrating for two hours. Smith even got on the bass guitar in the “Color My Soul” opening.
An incredible mix of old and new, the set bobbed like every head in the audience. Some highlights were hearing “Gold Coast Hustle” full band with Kanye West vocal samples and PL’s “Sunday School” mixed throughout, and the mindbending moment when the quintet broke into PL’s remix of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” into “Karma Police.” (WOW.)
The night ended with my own personal favorite tune, “High School Art Class.”
Although the usually present, remixed Chicago Bulls theme song was missing from the three night stint in the city, Pretty Lights’ love for Chitown is loud and clear: “oh man Chicago y’all are my people!”
Despite the quarter-mile long, 20 foot wide line to get in the door, the Analog Future Tour was the best I’ve seen Pretty Lights in a non-festival setting since 2011 New Years Eve at ye old Congress Theater.