The EDM festival gurus over at Highland Concerts began a new side project called Lights Up High a couple of weeks ago. It is essentially the club version or little brother of Dallas based NYE electronic music festival Lights All Night. I went to go scope out the concert and was able to film a few questions with opening acts DJ Titan and DJ WISH FM. 12th Planet was unfortunately not available. Nonetheless, the night was full of enormous feels. Check out the linked video for a few feels of your own. It includes a bit live footage from the performances, as well as interviews with DJ Titan and Wade Hampton aka DJ WISH FM.
DJ Titan is a well known DJ and producer in the Dallas area, who has been the resident DJ at the world famous Lizard Lounge for over a decade, now. You might have seen him opening up for some of the major electronic artists that come through Dallas including Chase & Status, Dillon Francis, and Rusko among many others. His opening set was filled with Drum n' Bass, House, and Electro both old and new. The beautiful view of the Dallas skyline from the 33rd floor of The W Hotel was mesmerizing, but DJ Titan's tight mix and lively use of the CDJ's demanded my full attention.
Titan was followed by DJ WISH FM, also known as Wade Hampton, film producer, key influencer of the American electronic music scene, and more recently the Marketing Director of Highland Concerts. Wade's story is a truly incredible one. He has been nationally influential in the rise of House music over the past few decades and it looks like he is back to help restore the Dallas electronic scene to its former glory, if he hasn't already, through his work with Lights All Night and several local music venues. His set was on point, pulling in new tracks off of the new Skrillex album and mixing in some old Drum n' Bass he was likely spinning back in the early '90s.
The headliner of the night was 12 Planet, who took the entire experience to a new level. The club was packed full of fans anticipating every last bass drop. Despite several hardware issues, the self-proclaimed Dubstep god didn't disappoint. I always find it interesting to see how more popular DJ's perform or mix their bangers live. As I had expected, 12th Planet is a true performer. The crowd ate up every second of his ceaseless dancing, jumping, and undeniable ability to rock the bucket-hat.
All in all, Lights Up High put on a great show, although it was much different than I had expected. Lights All Night is always massive with giant towering stages and larger than life performances. Lights Up High however, as Wade explained in our interview, is more intended to bridge the gap between each new years celebration by keeping big names like 12th Planet coming to Dallas and mixing demographics. Case and point, the crowd was much more diverse than I would have guessed. Uptown bar hoppers who were at the Byron Nelson earlier in the day adorned flashy cocktail dresses or suits fit for James Bond, whereas others came in full on rave gear like they were headed to stage pit at the main-stage at a huge outdoor EDM festival. There aren't many places where you can bring in such a wide array of music lovers.
Wade also informed me that Lights Up High should be turning into a more frequent VIP event, so be sure to follow @lightsallnight to stay up-to-date on follow-up events. Also, be sure to check out my interviews with DJ Titan and DJ WISH FM in the linked video for a behind the scenes look at Lights Up High.
You can catch more articles from me about the Dallas music scene, music festivals, and my general obsession with music by following me @nogaliketoga on twitter.