Between the girls on roller skates with bubble guns, the acrobats flying from half moons suspended in the air, the go-go dancers, the lights, and the amazing performers, Lights All Night proved to be simply magical. Continue reading for the full experience as reported by Coog Radio’s Tiffany Noviski Neufeld, Parnia Razinobakht, and Quenton Redding.
Canadian duo Tristan Norton and Martin Kottmeier let the lid off the Supernova Stage as the first acts on Day 1. With all of the jumping and singing, “let” understates the pair’s energy. They thrusted the lid off with their carbonated music and their high energy forcefully bubbled out like they were popping bottles on stage. With speedy green missiles combined with a black background, their visuals matched their uptempo beats and positive crowd interaction. The crowd’s energy though did not align with what Young Bombs were dropping. Maybe it was too early or they weren’t warmed all the way up, but Young Bombs gave more than what they got back from the audience. Expectantly, they played their remix of The Chainsmokers’s “This Feeling.” Surprisingly though, after they asked, “Is it okay if I play my favorite song for you?” they played Papa Roach’s “Last Resort.” That felt like a sharp left turn, but should not have surprised too much as one of the guys wore a Metallica shirt. The pair also played their remix of Kygo’s “Remind Me to Forget,” a mix of “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed by Sheck Wes, and then Post Malone’s “I Fall Apart.” The set ended with Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.”
Nora En Pure followed Young Bombs on the Intergalactic Stage. The South African-Swiss DJ, also known as Daniela Niederer, tempered the crowd a bit with her deep house beats. “En Pure” must stem from her pure approach to music production. About ten minutes into her set and all the crowd had to vibe on was her pure production. No vocals made it onto the scene until about ten minutes in when the track hit with a female vocalist singing, “I feel you.” Her visuals consisted of landscapes in the background with “Nora En Pure” in block text as the foreground. After the “I feel you” vocal track ten more minutes passed until the next vocal track hit. This vocalist sang, “I’m where I’m supposed to be,” which felt a bit off the mark. Although Nora En Pure built the beat up, dropped it, and sped it back up again, the set felt a little flat. That’s not to say a set needs vocals to sustain a high energy. Each track though felt as if it bled into the next. Niederer didn’t interact with the crowd much either. She did, though, seem to have her eyes closed and a quiet smile spread across her face the entire time, communicating that she at least was having an amazing time.
Lights All Night was an amazing experience and the people who got to experience would agree. The venue was perfectly set up with different activities for people to do besides the concerts, like the DreamHack gaming lounge and Sweet Hotel Lounge. The staff and everyone at the festival were extremely nice and just made the whole experience feel like some sci-fi rave movie. If you have never been to a rave or an EDM festival, you should defiantly start with Lights All Night. My experience started off with CHEE. at the Planet Prime Stage. Going into the show knowing nothing about him was a very smart thing to do. And pretty much the only thing to do as he doesn’t have a bio on his Spotify or SoundCloud accounts. His performance was very interesting. His sound was very confusing at the beginning and had too much going on. He has a song titled “Aggressive Generosity,” which is as close as I can get to describing his sound. It feels like an oxymoron that pulls you in and pushes you back all at the same time. The stage presence improved towards the end and that’s when more people started to spill in.
Mr. Carmack AKA Aaron Carmack clearly was where he was supposed to be on Friday, December 27th. Bopping out on the Intergalactic Stage, Mr. Carmack asked, “Who here is from Dallas?!” And then commanded, “Make some noise!!” His visuals featured architectural concepts – skyscrapers, brick buildings, and urban landscape. The fresh electro production bounced amongst high and low beats at a high tempo that synchronized with the upending of the concrete pathways in the images. The effect mesmerized and entranced the crowd. The visuals transitioned to more abstract swirls and images as the music fell into heavier house tracks. During the heavier portion of the set, the beats embraced the sound of a saxophone completing scales at one point . The impact imprinted on the audience and allowed them to feel as if the scales fit the shape of a swirled water slide on which they slid. Mr. Carmack periodically checked in with the crowd, instructing them to, “MAKE SOME NOISE!” The hip hop mixes were crowd favorites. As he sampled Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West they jumped up and down and danced a bit harder.
This was one of the sets I was most excited about. I really enjoyed seeing Sofi Tukker live for the first time. Their energy as a duo is beautiful. You can tell by how they
interact onstage they are close and work brilliantly with each other – not to mention how perfect their sound is. Giving us a nice break from the mainstream remixes and big beat drops, I loved the Jungle House energy Sofi Tukker brought. They gave everyone something to dance to by playing mainly their own songs from their recent album, Treehouse, but also throwing in a few classic EDM throwbacks. I was a little disappointed in how thin the crowd was at the beginning of their set, but as it went along they attracted festival-goers with their high-energy sound. At one point, Sophie even crowd surfed and came into the crowd. Seeing them play “F*ck They” and “Best Friend” were definitely my highlights of the set. Sophie’s elegant white dress and lovely vocals topped it off (although I couldn’t quite tell if she was lipsyncing or not), and their stage presence and vivid visuals definitely brought the “Energia” to the Supernova Stage. Seeing them on the recent Coachella lineup made me think about how perfectly their music and set would actually fit in there. Sofi Tukker is definitely an artist to have your eye out for in 2019.
Oliver Tree intrigues and puzzles – as an artist and a character as a whole. Can the guy with a bowl cut, wearing JNCOs, and drinking out of a Dixie Cup be for real? Who knows. What we do know from his performance is that his name is Oliver Tree and someone stole his scooter. After an introduction of drums and guitar, Tree bounced on stage declaring the aforementioned. His set opened with “Forget It;” a track he recorded with Getter in 2016. As he sang, “Never came around, never came around, never came around…” he put his hands together to form birds and paced the stage in a crouched position like he was preparing for take off while his hands mimicked the motions of birds flying. During “Alien Boy” he performed cartwheels and thrusted his pelvis. Almost everyone threw their hand in the air and shouted, “Ok!” along with Tree. He must have been hot with all of this movement . So, he took off his JNCOs to reveal his iconic Dixie Cup sweatpants. Ninja moves were mixed in along with some new music. Tree performed two new songs or as he described it, he had “never played this sh*t ever. First time motherf*ckers!” The first new song included lyrics like, “My whole life is a joke but I’m not laughing.” In the second song he rapped, “Your whole life I tried and I’m getting older.” Tree held nothing back. The crowd shouted lyrics back to him and danced their hearts out. The electronic beats and ambient grooves maintained the attention and hyped energy levels of the audience. The sentiments of the tracks really resonated with festival goers. The high energy and lighthearted delivery allowed for a fun cathartic experience. Tree clearly wasn’t lipsyncing either as it was clear he was strug city with his breath a couple of times. That did not detract from his performance though – if anything it enhanced it and made the experience more authentic.
Following the performance of CHEE. was PhaseOne. He brought a wave of headbangers to the Planet Prime Stage and it was a sight to see. The crowd synchronized and began headbanging with one another. Others had their light up gloves doing amazing finger tricks in the faces of their friends. Everyone had smiles on their faces. The Australian DJ brought his best to Dallas and provided the ravers with what they wanted. He’s definitely an artist to watch out for in 2019. Hopefully he returns next year, but on a bigger stage.
— Harley Mandell (@HarleyMandell) January 9, 2019
Ah, the set everyone was waiting all night for. Someone who just a few short years ago would not have even been given a main stage set, Rezz had the Supernova stage packed and ready to take off to another planet. I’m not sure how she does it, but every time I see her she plays a completely different, but always brilliant set. She started off this set super slow and heavy; dramatically drawing out her intro as the stage got even more crowded and mesmerized by her goggles and visuals. This set threw it back with many songs from Mass Manipulation and even older OG fan favorites like “Selector” and “Edge.” She nailed every second of the set, making it look so effortless with her nimble and fluid movements. She made the crowd go crazy with her unique, heavy, and mystical sound (not to mention the lasers and trippy visuals we all love). In addition to her older songs, she also played her recent remix of “Divinity” by Porter Robinson and her newest single “Mixed Signals.” The set was nothing less than what I would expect from space mom Rezz, and she delivers effortlessly every time.
The conclusion of the night was with a very chill performance from Penthouse Penthouse at the Disco Galaxy stage. Mike Parvizi and Preston Walker form the LA duo named Penthouse Penthouse and they have a very rich sound. Their sound is perfect for their name as it sounds like something only the top 1% kids listen to. They have a mixture of different sounds and styles, which makes them a very versatile duo. Their range is endless. It could be very interesting to see if they enter the hip hop world since rap is the new pop. Their performance was the perfect way to end the night full of energy. The room alone was perfect as it matched the chill vibe they gave. The production on their tracks is beautifully constructed from the choice of instruments to the tempo and beat changes meshing together effortlessly. Their choice of samples shows they have a deep history of music in all genres. This was shown in “lost pearl.” From the beginning to the end of the track, it made you feel so soft and comfortable. When they performed this, it gave me this high as if I was getting a message on a cloud from God himself.
Oh, Diplo. As of publication, 33, 096, 202 people listen to him on Spotify each month. He, Thomas Wesley Pentz Jr. takes responsibility for Major Lazer, creates with the music collective LSD, and is in high demand as a DJ and music producer (with good reason). Let’s not forget that he also produced the sitcom “What Would Diplo Do?” Diplo stays active. His set at LAN represented this active, versatile lifestyle. The energy never faded as he spun between songs of a variety of genres seamlessly. “Pop, Lock & Drop It” kicked off the program. Other hip hop mixes included Drake, Sheck Wes, and Kanye West. During one of the hip hop mixes, Diplo encouraged everyone to put their hands on the person next to them and get down low. The impressive, boisterous crowd listened under his command. They got down low and popped back up with he demanded it. The audience also sang along with tracks like “All the Small Things” by Blink 182. Interaction with festival goers was electric. As “Thunderclouds,” played hands thrust in the air and went left and right almost to the hollow beat of a clock. “Lean On,” and “Titantium” were other tracks that dripped joy from Diplo’s hands into the mouths of everyone in his presence. Diplo continued past his allotted time, announcing, “I know it’s 2:00am, but!” and inquiring, “Can we do this a little longer?” Of course, everyone acquiesced and concluded the night with the “Macarena.”