Pretty Lights For Two Nights NOLA Style

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written by Connor McAuliffe 

photos by Connor Hayes

After a wide selection of New Year’s shows to choose from across the states, Pretty Lights in New Orleans struck myself as the move to ring in the new year.  Not only have I seen Pretty Lights a few times in the past, but have never found myself at his own curated events.  With openers, such as Curren$y and the Soul Rebels, Emancipator, Manic Focus, Chris Karns, and Maddy O’Neil, it made my decision easy.  Surrounded by some of my closest friends, it made my New Year’s a very special one.


Music genre – Electro Funk Soul, Indie Electronic, Future Funk

Camping: No

Capacity: Extra Small (2,000-3,000 people)

Crowd type:  PLF (Pretty Lights Family), College Students

Water stations: No


For the First Timers – This was my first time attending a Pretty Lights curated event, let alone one of his New Year’s shows.  The show was a two-night run and was condensed into the Ballroom at Mardi Gras World.  My suggestion for anyone is to arrive early to avoid being stuck in line getting in to the venue.  Since there are no water stations, I also would recommend stocking up on water and hold on to them during each set.  The venue is not huge, so it is easy to access the bar area to purchase another water or cocktail.

Musical Highlights – Manic Focus on night one had a full band with him.  Russ Liquid and TJ Higgins were on the horns, Andrew Block was on the guitar, and Jacob Barinholtz was on the drums.  The full band complemented each other wonderfully and made the set even funkier than I had previously anticipated.

Things to Do – There was not much to offer for activities aside from the music.  If you had the Pretty Lights Mansion tickets, you could take a break from the other openers and see secret sets from a few other artists (See VIP or Nah section).

VIP or Nah – There was two options for VIP: First option is VIP, which included the perks of having its own line to get into the venue, an exclusive balcony viewing area, and a commemorative pin.  The other option that was unique, PLM Family Passes (Pretty Lights Mansion).  The perks included with these passes were exclusive live sets from special guests, private restrooms, a PLM Commemorative Laminate, an open bar, as well as the VIP perks.

PLM Live Set Special Guests

  • 12/30
    • Supervision
    • Wax Future
  • 12/31
    • Eliot Lipp
    • Outlet

If you had the money to spend on VIP or PLM Family passes, I totally think it is worth it.  The light/lasers/visuals are top-notch, exclusive sets, and open bar are enough perks to draw the interest from many passionate Pretty Lights fans.

Story Corner – Since this was my first Pretty Lights curated show, I have been hearing stories about Greg Ellis (aka LazerShark) and his light show he does during the shows.  The first night was just a tease with some lasers and visuals.  The second night during the extended set, LazerShark did not hold back on the visuals, lights, and lasers.  The waterfall on the front of the stage made for an aesthetic view with crazy designs.  It was the first time I actually felt connected to Pretty Lights’ music and felt like I was in another dimension.  It was as if I had never seen Pretty Lights perform before in my entire life.  I left after night two still in disbelief at what I had just witnessed.

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