Fuck, let’s be honest, he might even be my favorite artist, let alone DJ.
I went to the Pretty Lights/DJ Shadow show last night at Shrine. That’s what I called it and thought of it as. Although most people there considered it a Pretty Lights show with 3 openers (MartyParty and Supervision were the other two if your wondering, but don’t be).
I was super curious how Shadow would handle his opening roll and if he’d have a chip on his shoulder because of it. I’ve seen him 3 times before, but always as the headliner. He’s been at it for years, paid so many dues, and EDM, DJ’s, (especially Pretty Lights) wouldn’t be where they are if not for him. And now he’s the opening act.
Ladies and gentlemen - he did not give a fuck. He loves to DJ, you can just tell. He’s so happy spinning, for any crowd. After watching two laptop DJ’s before, the crowd was pretty in awe of what a true turntablist can do. We were 3rd row, so we could see him, on everything - the mixer, the mpc, serato, and then he broke out the drumsticks and hit the drum pad live for “Organ Donor”. EDM bore out of hip hop but they lost some tricks alone the way.
In the cab on the ride home, we all agreed Shadow was the better DJ (I mean, obvi), but I was shocked to learn that my 3 friends hadn’t heard of him before. When I said that Pretty Lights wouldn’t be where he was without Shadow, I don’t think they got it. But it’s true. He pioneered so many techniques and just instrumental beat making as a stand alone art form. One friend said he was gonna start following Shadow around. When I explained that majority of the songs he played weren’t his (snuck in maybe 4 or 5 in the 45 minute set), was met with another “Really?” Electronic DJ’s don’t do that as much it seems, but hip hop DJ’s spin everythang.
Shadow won the night, even sans B+ visuals (fyi, B+ is a dude, not a grade, look him up), he just kept the energy up. I assumed he was on the bill to help sell tickets but he wasn’t spinning like it. He was out there to make new fans from this younger generation, and he definitely succeed.
I normally don’t like speaking negatively about peeps on the internet, cuz there’s so much negativity out there, but I wasn’t that impressed with Pretty Lights. The crowd was great so the show was fun, but he fucking sloooowed shit down when I wanted to dance dance dance. Apparently he’s pretty into the H these days, bummer, I may have missed him in his heyday.
“How long is this EDM thing gonna last?” asked one friend. He was saying he can’t keep up with the shows. Which I get, the tickets and the party favors get expensive. (Hell, I only went last night because I managed to get on the list - thank you kindly, district music). The crew I rolled with have been pretty into the scene for the past year, I recently found it, but it quickly has become my favorite release. But back to the question of staying power, that’s a really good query. Shadow will be around forever, that’s proven, because he was toured before all this and will continue to tour after. Will Pretty Lights do that? - doubtful. Some EDM DJ’s will, but I think those will be the exception, not the rule.