I was excited and ready to head back to Dallas Market Hall for the second day of the festival. They had impressed me with how well-staffed the event was, no long lines for bathrooms or food, getting in was quick and easy, and the stages and decorations were fantastic. I liked the set up and how well the festival flowed overall, so I was ready to make the most of it and enjoy day 2.
TOKiMONSTA, an American DJ and producer, is known for being one of the most interesting and fresh DJs today. Especially after dealing with a brain surgery a few years ago that caused her to lose her speaking and musical abilities, her incredible story of rehabilitation and perseverance is one that caught the attention of many. Her music, mirroring her life and story, is incredible beautiful and powerful. She attracted a diverse crowd, and came out with full energy and wished us a happy new year, saying she would play a dirty set for us to get down to. Announcing the beginning of of her set as phase 1, she played vibrant, but gentle and flowing beat, with a few of her own songs mixed in. This was perfect as it build up a crowd and everyone vibed to the ambient energy she brought. Then, announcing phase 2, she began playing many hit hip-hop and rap songs of the year, with fun remixes and drops. The crowd was dancing and I saw everyone around me having a great time. Finally as she announced phase 3, she turned up and blasted the bass even more, and I felt the vibrations through my entire body. It was so much fun, as she mixed old and new hits that everyone knows and loves – from Kendrick to Migos. Her flow, her mysteriousness, and her talent as a DJ really showed itself with this set, and I was really impressed by her. Although I would have liked to see more female DJs at this festival, I’m glad Lights All Night made an effort to book TOKiMONSTA and a few other talented women to play this year.
Playing one of the last sets of the night, NGHTMRE brought the fire set we needed to warm us up on the last day of the festival. With a massive crowd gathered, his set was the perfect balance of happy-sounding melodies and hard drops with lasers and confetti.
He played a good mix of songs he has produced, as well as hit songs by other EDM artists we love like Snails and San Holo. People in the crowd were blowing up balloons and bouncing them over the crowd, hoopers were in the back doing their thing, and everyone was bouncing and enjoying the energy of his set. Throwing in a few hip-hop hits from this year too, I appreciated the versatility he brought and how he made it all flow together extremely well. He was probably the artist I was most impressed by
that I hadn’t thought much of seeing, and his set brought so much love and good energy. Speaking of good energy, he closed the set with his song “Gud Vibrations,” one of my personal favorites, but remixing it to go harder and close his set, it was incredible and made me think of how lucky I was to end 2017 in a positive and happy celebration of life, music, and art. NGHTMRE made us headbang, rap along to Kendrick, feel as light as the balloons bouncing over us, and remember to bring good vibrations only into our new year.
One of the most anticipated sets of Lights All Night, thousands gathered at the main stage to watch Seven Lions bring the heat. Making a few friends as we talked to those in the crowd around us, everyone was excited for the set as he has played the festival a few years ago and blew everyone’s minds, playing a game-changing set that proved he could go hard and and play incredible remixes live. Before the set, everyone was also passing around orange face paint, and drawing stripes and designs on each others faces, which as I learned, is a tradition to do before a Seven Lions set because – get it? Lions? I thought it was cute and fun and I always love finding out these little things that makes raves so fun and special. As he came onstage, with his long flowing hair and tall stature, he demanded all the attention in the room as he began playing a remix of “Freesol,” a song off his latest album. It started off gentle and built up to his first drop, which made the crowd go crazy. His own music being very light, flowy, and pop-sounding, it caught me off guard and really surprised me that he played such an intense and hard set, extremely different from the music he puts out. It was nice to see that kind of versatility and talent, because it’s always disappointing and boring to see DJs who just play all their own songs live and barely mix anything new or different. I understood why Seven Lions has such a strong fanbase – not a single moment of his set was boring, he went hard the whole time, and brought everyone’s energy to a whole different level. It was also cool to see his visuals – which seemed like scenes from a movie and video game at certain points. With interesting visuals, mixing his own songs, songs from other EDM artists, and even songs from Florence and the Machine, the set was unique and captivating. I was really impressed and enjoyed what he brought to the festival.