Written By: Chase Wilson

 

On December 28 & 29, Lights All Night returned to Dallas for its 9th year. One of the longest running and most highly anticipated end of the year parties in the U.S., Lights All Night is an experience any music lover wouldn’t want to miss. From the highly entertaining artists they bring us to the delicate care they take in providing us the best experience possible each year, Lights All Night has maintained it’s name as THE favorite end of the year music tradition. Since its inception in 2010, LAN has sought to bring attendees a festival experience unlike any other, featuring a highly curated selection of the world’s most sought-after electronic, dance, pop and hip-hop music acts with FOMO-inducing performances and larger-than-life production for a truly memorable event to celebrate the end of every year and welcome the new year to come.

The Lights All Night 2018 Experience

 

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With a total of 5 stages at Lights All Night, there truly was something for everyone. Space Station and Planet Prime were both outside, and while it was cold, there were enough people at the stages for it to almost not be felt. Furthermore, if you still thought it was too cold, Lights All Night hooked it up with fire pits right near the food trucks for maximum enjoyment. With there also being free water outside, the outdoor experience was phenomenal and made you feel like you were not forgotten, whatsoever.

Going inside, you’re greeted instantly by the Supernova stage, as well as multiple art installations that blew our minds. From the Fallen Stars installation (Raven PMG) to the Kinetic Balls installation (John Stephens and Hyacinth Belcher), being away from the crowd was still a beautiful experience. Upstairs, you were welcome to play hundreds of different games in the Dreamhack Gaming Lounge. From League of Legends to PUBG and Fortnite, as well as comfortable seats, Dreamhack went above and beyond to make the quick gaming experience one you wouldn’t want to step away from.

 

As you enter the next stage area, you’re greeted by a mysterious wide-room that’s encased in gigantic black curtains. If you found yourself subconsciously walking towards this set up, you were unquestionably mind-blown by the gigantic Light Leaks art installation (by Kyle McDonald & Jonas Jongejan with a channel of sound created by Rob Clouth). Lights All Night teamed up with Light Leaks to bring us the Disco Galaxy stage, starring the Light Leaks installation that created an amazingly smooth, harmonized environment that captured it’s audience.

As you continue on in your journey, you come across bars galore on the way towards the Intergalactic stage. Though it wasn’t the main stage, at some points, the crowd was more packed here than at the Supernova stage. However, one thing that remained constant with both of these stages were the amazing LAN x Lady L Entertainment team of specialty performance artists. These artists included anything from aerial performers and stage dancers to stilt walkers and fire breathers.

 

LAN_10_preview.png                                                                                                                      (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

How was the music?

LAN_3_preview.png                                                                                                                      (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

Opening up the first night was Kaskade at the pre-party, and he did it in style. With the first song being “Sweet Memories” by CID and the man himself, the crowd was instantly thrown into the air and moving. Since it was THE first set, the crowd wasn’t extremely big or anything, but don’t let that take away from Kaskade‘s skill. Regardless of the size of any crowd, Kaskade would have the crowd jumping and singing back-to-back. It’s hard to set the tone for the entire festival, especially as a single artist, but Kaskade didn’t disappoint and did exactly that.

Young Bombs set had the crowd moving quick, and the visuals were amazing. There was an intense, high energy vibe coming from the pair. The pair went on to play the Star Wars Theme into Trap, accompanied by a sick visuals switch up. Young Bombs had the crowd jumping, and would go on to have them singing as soon as  “Light” by San Holo came on. The crowd was not very big, but it was an earlier set, so don’t let that take you away from how smooth their set flowed.

Mad Hatter had the Intergalactic stage blowing up early, with the rails going off the ground. The visuals seemed capture you, and the crowd was going absolutely nuts and looked like they were actually lost in the sound. Mad Hatter’s visuals are extremely hypnotic and trippy. Even though it was an early set, there was a nice sized crowd going nuts through the entire set.

Black Frames’ Disco Galaxy set was mega chill, it was perfect music to just bob your head to. While the bass from the Intergalactic stage was still loud, you were entirely still in the music. In the Disco Galaxy stage, you had 3 channels to choose from, each with a different color to help you differentiate. While I had never heard of Black Frames before his set, it felt like he was sprinkling flavor over each channel and had me moving quickly. We’d have to say for anyone that listens to House/Techno, Black Frames needs to be on your radar.

LAN_5_preview.png                                                                                                                       (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

 

Back at the Intergalactic stage, the crowd was into Quix set early, and had the rail bending. Something that stood out to us were how his visuals are so uniquely different, and one specific part of his visuals that caught our attention was what looked like a black liquid being bent by the sound waves. His visuals pair with how much velocity any one track he plays has. Quix had the crowd going absolutely off their rockers at 7:30, and this would continue throughout his entire set. This was easily the first set of the night at Intergalactic to have a full crowd and have that entire crowd losing their minds.

Nora en Pure played some very chill trance into some moving house which had a clean switch up and had filled the crowd up quick. The crowd’s vibe was so chill and calming, but at the same time, it would switch up to high energy in a heartbeat. Nora‘s creativity was on full-blast at the main stage.

Shree was outside on the Space Station stage and kept the vibe up going into the bigger stages. Any time I walked by, new people would join in and dance. Shree played a 2 hour and 45 minute set outside in the cold, but he didn’t let that slow him OR his music down. There’s a certain respect you have to have for an artist willing to get through the weather just so they can do what they love.

1788-L absolutely destroyed the crowd. If people weren’t put on to him yet, they will be now. His entire set was heavy, playing tons of his own music out for the crowd. He also played out 2 yet-to-be-named tracks, one of those being with Kayzo. He had the crowd either in the air or headbanging for each song, and would ultimately leave them sweating and smiling. 1788-L had an amazing set all the way through, and further justified his blow-up so far this year.

LAN_11_preview.png                                                                                                                       (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

Kaskade comes back on, this time on the main stage, with high energy and an already packed crowd. Carrying the same energy into this set from his pre-party set, Kaskade got crowd really into the music until the sound cut off, but was still killing it. He’d immediately come back with intensity and was practically hand-feeding the crowd his energy to get the feeling back.

 

Milazzo was KILLING it outside, as she played house in the style of “get up and move”. Our favorite. The entire time, she was out there absolutely shredding it. Personally, I had noticed how even people walking into the building from the food truck area were moving, even if they were eating at the same time.

Sofi Tukker techno/house mixture is moving the crowd. The pairs visuals were matching up perfectly, and helped bring the sound and experience to a dope ass level. They had the crowd jumping for almost a minute and a half straight without breaks, and were consistently high-energy throughout the first 30 minutes.

Rezz has constantly kept the crowd into it and moving, and it was amazing being in the crowd with everyone else. Visuals were absolutely wild (shout out @VisualCams). I distinctly remember standing looking at the visuals and it felt like the music was just there in the background while I was mouth-breathing and lost. Rezz would play both new and old from herself, with transitions that seemed seamless and perfect. Amazing set in its entirety, though I do wish I knew the last track she played (because it was FIRE).

LAN_21_preview.png                                                                                                                      (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

Diplo instantly had the crowd moving in the first 10 minutes with extremely high energy. His unique style is so different from everyone else that night as he played 3 different genres back to back without losing the crowd. Of course, the entire crowd was on Mo Bamba QUICK, but they got the surprise of their lives as Diplo plays a remix of Mo Bamba-turned-trap. For the most part, his set was bass-dominant into some more popular songs from him and others. Overall, good energy, good shit.

PhaseOne destroyed the Planet Prime stage, and I mean that only as a semi-joke. He threw down so hard, people from the crowd got on the stage decoration and were head-banging alongside the rest of the crowd. This was definitely one of the most disgusting sets I’d ever heard, without a doubt. The energy was extremely high from both the crowd and the artist. PhaseOne continued to give us our ammo for the entirety of his set, but neither party lost its energy until he stepped off the stage.

LAN_17_preview.png                                                                                                                      (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

CharlesTheFirst comes with his signature sound as well, it’s hard to describe but it was doing a great job of keeping everyone alive. It’s just hard to describe without using a mixture of other artists, and I don’t want to underplay his unique sound. The crowd was tired, and it was late, but he revived them every other song. Each of his songs told a different story, and felt exactly like reading a good book and losing yourself inside.

Penthouse Penthouse really lived up to the dope story behind the name. (Mike Parvizi, half of the duo, states “Penthouse Penthouse is like the extra penthouse you probably won’t gain access to – or that you don’t even know about”). Their set was odd in that it had a bit of an R&B vibe but would always turn the crowd right-side out through each different track.

We went to Jai Wolf to end our night out, and was something I’d been looking forward to. I’ve never seen him live, but I’d always decided I wanted to catch him live before anything. Honestly, that set was not just perfect to end the night, it was also perfect just to hear. Jai Wolf makes you feel uncomfortably comfortable and ended the night off making you feel good inside.

 

Lights All Night Day 2

Ekali pre-party was, without a doubt, an amazing set. The crowd had good energy, and that’s partly due to the beautiful dance-club vibe that had you moving. Ekali’s energy was also through the roof, and it was being absorbed into the crowd. He’d maintain this high energy and interactivity throughout his entire set. Coming into day 2, this put me right in the mood for more Lights All Night.

HE$H killed it for his entire first 30 minutes. While the crowd’s not full due to it being early, the energy makes it feel huge. As expected, we were given riddim but with that Dallas vibe to it that only HE$H can max out on. The crowd was lifting the rail and losing their minds for the entire set. HE$H had the first set of the day for the Intergalactic stage, and set up the rest of the artists for an outstanding night with how pumped he got the crowd.

Metaphysic was dope as well, the Silent Disco stage in its entirety went amazing and made you feel inside of the song itself. Metaphysic came with a very peaceful vibe, and after playing his set, had me wanting to catch him on a big stage one day. Very different, but very exciting. All 3 channels were unique and showed off different sides of the artists creativity. The slow-placed green was a calming like ambiance. It was peaceful and harmonic. Red was house/dance, and got everyone dancing. Blue was also calming, but more intense and dark at times.

Saratonin was amazing, I’d only just found her and started listening to her and was mind-blown by each channel in the Silent Disco. She perfectly captured each vibe on each channel and I was getting chills by how well each transition was. She’s a new must-catch solely due to the fact of how well she was able to ensnare a silent-disco crowd.

(Photo Credit: @shotbyjazzy)

 

G-Rex b2b Tynan blew the place up, no cap. It felt like every other track was an unreleased, and G-Rex had pointed out on twitter that they had something special in store for us. They’ve both got a bunch of new music in the works as shown, and both guys combined to give us an outstanding set (this was their first time b2b!). They had the rail going off the ground at the end and the crowd in the palm of their hands from the very beginning. Absolutely amazing set, must-catch both artists, whether they’re b2b or not.

LAN_29_preview.png                                                                                                                       (Photo Credits: @andrewjmurillo)

 

Ekali killed it on main stage, he definitely gets the credit he deserves. He had the crowd moving since the start. He brought a high energy performance. Ekali’s special talent has to be how different the crowd he brings is – they’re almost always down for anything.

Gucci Mane brought Rap to the main stage at LAN as expected, though he kind of disappointed us. The crowd was all moving, good energy especially in the middle where there was an entire group that knew all of his lyrics. It’s always really dope to me to see other genres playing alongside ours at festivals.

There was a huge crowd out for Excision, as expected. We could’t even feel the cold wind anymore, people were that packed in. He started out playing no games, hard as fuck, classic Excision style. He had multiple mosh’s going on top of everyone jumping when he wanted them to. He felt the crowd really well on top of this to keep them constantly engaged with the music. With 15 minutes left we noticed the crowd didn’t even begin to think out that created an insane atmosphere.  His set showed how insanely talented Excision is and will always be. He ended his set in the same fashion he opened it with, hard as fuck with unforgiving bass. The last 3 tracks had everyone, even people outside the crowd, going nuts.

Last but could never be the least, What So Not ended our night and an amazing festival out on a beautiful note. Everyone inside and outside the crowd knew it was the last artist to play for the festival at the Intergalactic stage, and were all ready for what was coming. What So Not‘s performance included pulling your heartstrings right after making you become exhausted from his more trap-heavy style, and is exactly how he ended the festival for us.

 

Overall Thoughts on Lights All Night 2018

I think that, without a doubt, this festival ran extremely smooth. There were no extremely long lines outside, there wasn’t too many audio problems if at all, and the overall flow of the set up made it extremely easy to navigate the fest. The staff at the venue were extremely understanding but also took their job seriously and acted professionally. From the absolutely AMAZING chicken tacos outside to the gaming lounge upstairs to the 2 nights of OUTSTANDING music, Lights All Night once again proved itself to be THE location to be at the end of each year. We here at Trillvo thank Lights All Night for having us out once again this year, and an even bigger thank you to everyone that came out for the festival. If you didn’t make it out this time around, you’d better make sure to go at the end of 2019. It’s good for your health, bro.

 

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Posted by:Chase Wilson

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