Written by: Rachel Bui
Since there was a lot to cover during the 2-day festival, this concert review will be split into 3 parts:
the nature of edm concerts
- Like most EDM concerts, Lights All Night (LAN) is an event for ravers. The audience mostly falls in two categories: those who keep up with the EDM scene and know their artists, and those who are there to escape reality through raving. Fair warning to people attending their first EDM concert: the standing floor is not a place to stay if you’re claustrophobic, and ear plugs are a must if you value your hearing.
- Held at the Dallas Market Hall, LAN had plenty of room to host the 40,000+ attendees, though as the night went on I noticed that people got antsy wanting to push their way to the front. With a thrilling atmosphere saturated in adrenaline, the overall friendly vibe makes the experience even more fun. Mostly everyone you meet is super friendly, and there is a sense of unity between attendees and between the artist and audience. With how accepting everyone is, it’s not hard to see why people are attracted to this kind of scene.
- To fit all of the artists in during the 2-day event, there are two rooms adjacent to each other simultaneously running. The rooms catered to two atmospheres: if you want to party, go to room 2; if you’re just there to vibe, go to room 1 (the main room).
- For Day 1 of the festival, Ookay revived the floor after a slow start. While he created a great, fun vibe, the seizure-inducing graphics were a tad too intense. Illenium was a high anticipated act by man festival goers, but due to some technical difficulties with the equipment, his set was quite a bumpy trip from start to finish. Despite experiencing several buildups that led to nothing (5 times total), it was a surprise how understanding the audience was and how patient they were with situation. I will note that every other artist I was able to watch during the festival didn’t have any technical difficulties as bad as Illenium’s.
Porter Robinson followed up, and right after his first song you can see why he was chosen as the headliner. Out of all the DJs from Day 1, he spoke the least on the mic – he mostly let his music do the talking for him. After the rough ride with Illenium, Porter helped smooth out the slight anxiety in the crowd with his set, gifting the audience with a versatile set. While “Shelter”’s impression might be of one of a laid-back guy, the rest of his set packed quite a punch. The graphics were definitely my favorite of the night – the graphics infused anime-styled characters and video-game-esque backgrounds created a whimsical impression that complimented Porter’s dreamy sound.
- Day 2’s started out a lot stronger than Day 1. Niko the Kid as the starter for the main stage evoked a clubbing vibe, putting the “dance” in Electronic Dance Music. In the next room over on the second stage, Brothel and Essex DJed back to back. If you’re a hip hop fan, they’re great DJs to get into if you want to explore the EDM genre. The atmosphere was more aggressive, but then again, the room was smaller and more intimate.
While Holly, Sayer, Black Gummy, Vincent, and NGHTMRE had fun sets and were enjoyable, I’d have to say that TOKiMONSTA was the highlight of the night, and the crowd’s reaction would agree to that sentiment. With a very clean and simple light set to contrast (or compliment, depending on your perspective) bombastic bass beats, TOKi’s set was by far the most enjoyable. Besides Porter Robinson, she was probably the only DJ who could touch your soul – literally. Each of her mixes were so heavy on bass, you could feel the sound waves blasting your body. She was one of very few female DJs performing at this festival, but I would say she was one of best, if not the best, DJs of the whole festival.
If I had to recommend only one day and room to attend, without hesitation I would pick Day 2 in Room 2. With such a more diverse lineup in that room and the more intimate feel (something similar to a visit to your local music venue), this is where you’d get the most bang out of your buck (plus, TOKiMONSTA really killed it). If there’s anything I learned from my time at the festival, it’s this: those who let the music talk for them had a lot more impressive sets.