Scene Changes as Seen Through Pretty Lights
Witnessing the scene of a particular artist or genre change can be a really interesting phenomenon to observe. Venues, crowd sizes, concert goers, and drug use are usually the biggest things to change. I would argue that this change is natural and is very difficult to avoid if an artist gains any popularity. It’s also odd for someone to not change artistically, which can attract new people and push away people who have been fans for a long time. Many people get extremely upset when an artist or the scene that surrounds that artist changes.
I have personally witnessed this with Pretty Lights. In 2010, when he was still playing with a drummer, I went to his show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. This show was following the release of his album Passing By Behind Your Eyes, which, along with Filling Up The City Skies, clearly defined his musical style as an extremely unique producer. The venue was almost full, but not sold out. The crowd in 2010 was a crowd similar to a crowd you might find at a Lotus or STS9 show.
In 2012, I saw Pretty Lights at the Tower Theatre. This venue was much bigger and the show was sold out. Immediately, I noticed the crowd was totally different. There were still a lot of the same type of fans as the 2010 show, but there was a new group also. There were a ton of “straight-edge” teenagers. There were parents who accompanied their kids to the show. Previously, the majority of the crowd was smoking pot. Now everyone was sneaking in bottles of liquor and drinking.
The last time I saw Pretty Lights was in 2013, at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. This was the tour when he started playing with a full band. He was able to fill up a venue more than twice the size of the Electric Factory, which he played three years prior. Again, the crowd was totally different. The majority of people changed from a “heady” crowd, to people you would expect to find at a rave or EDM show. Tank tops and candy were in abundance. Most of the people seemed to be using molly, instead of drinking and smoking.
I’m not sure whether the scene change surrounding Pretty Lights has to do with his music, the popularity of EDM, or both. Regardless of why it is changing, it is an interesting phenomenon to witness. There are many consequences of this change. Some artists will eventually sell out, hate on their new crowd, or simply keep doing what they’re doing, disregarding the changes.
Written by: Jona Block