The bass is dropping as my friend gets lifted up in the air and she's off - crowd surfing. Arms are rising and falling to the beat and all are mesmerized by the beams of colored light shooting every which way. The one to blame for this trance-inducing chaos is none other than Derek Vincent Smith.
Derek Vincent Smith, better known as Pretty Lights, is a music mastermind combining music genres like jazz, hip hop, and electronic to create dramatic, spellbinding tunes. He has been on the American music scene for about five years now, gaining popularity as he graced the stages of Bonnaroo in 2009 and Coachella in 2010. He's not only recognized for his innovative mixes, but also for his fan-pleasing motivation. He sets out to give the audience an experience they cannot forget, and ultimately succeeds.
Let's back up though… Going to Pretty Lights at the Masonic Temple in Detroit was the perfect opportunity to get out of Ann Arbor for a night and experience a whirlwind of new eats, drinks, and music. In order to fuel up for the big show, the girls and I hit Wurst Bar in Ypsilanti. Wurst Bar is most known for its amazing and unique bratwurst creations (think: Spicy Rattlesnake Bratwurst on a pretzel roll). Since I don't eat meat, I was mildly nervous about what I would be able to find and enjoy. Our waitress pointed out their vegetarian burger option- a chick-fu patty (deep-fried tofu) on a pretzel roll- and highly recommended it. My friend and I decided to order that, and the vegetarian nacho tots (both of these can be vegan as well). I was blown away. The food was amazing and oh-so flavorful.
After we rolled out of of Wurst Bar, we decided to take our chances in Detroit for another bar stop. We drove down to the Masonic Temple and Yelped for a local bar, which lead us to Comet Bar. The reviews on Yelp chalked it up to be a local dive bar, where people of all kinds came to grab a few with friends… and that's exactly what it was. We exchanged friendly banter with our bartender as we hemmed and hawed over what to order. Upon ordering three shots of patron, he insisted that we chase them down with pineapple juice and the experience was magical (give it a try on your next tequila night!) Comet Bar was the perfect pitstop before hitting the Masonic Temple and we have already made plans to return.
Since we waited a bit before heading to the Masonic Temple, (missing the acts of Blood Diamonds and Paul Basic, unfortunately), there wasn't a line to get in so we slid right into the action. Entering the theater was mix of a sensory overload combined with an adrenaline rush. The beats were bumping as Pretty Lights led the crowd into a music euphoria. Everyone was brought together by a common desire to have a good time and experiencing an amazing show. One of my friend's crowd surfed, I sat on shoulders, and the three of us danced until the very last beat. Pretty Lights even mixed things up seamlessly by combining spontaneous mixing with his already produced songs.
All in all, the night was amazing- one I definitely would relive if I could. Thankfully, Detroit and Ypsi aren't going anywhere and I hopefully will be visiting them again soon.