One year later, the vibe at her headlining show this time around was different, starting with more than double the crowd from last year.
Armed with an arsenal of songs showing immense growth from her debut album, The Listening, LIGHTS showed her new more experimental and more artfully written tracks off sophomore disc Siberia aren't the only ways she's grown up -- she's also grown with her confidence as a performer. There weren't any nervous chuckles on-stage this time around -- her performance had a fierceness to it that made her seem like a seasoned veteran despite her young age of 24.
Her show this time around was really well-rounded, packed with songs from both her albums and featuring musical performances by her on everything from keyboards and guitar to synthesizer and keytar. The prettiest moment of the night was when she performed "Heavy Rope," all alone on the keyboards with her voice really shining through. She almost sounded like a smoky jazz singer in an intimate club (a far cry from the normal punk and hardcore of the Nile), and it was a neat moment to see her vocal talents put on full display.
Appropriately, the visual aspect to the show included lots of cool light displays that changed with the melodies and reflected the tones of the songs. At times, the stage looked like a dark, angry red, and at others, the platform was bright and perky with pink and purple hues.
She did a great job interacting with fans in-between songs, such as dedicating the song "Lions!" to the online game World of Warcraft, and most notably when she explained the beautiful new track, "Where the Fence Is Low." She explained the song came from a recurring dream that she stopped having only after she wrote a song about it, comparing the dream to her second album -- something that was new and exciting but that was safe and where she was supposed to be.
"It felt like cheating because I wrote exactly what I saw," LIGHTS said of the song.
The crowd sang along to all the material, both new and old, and it seems like some of LIGHTS' most loyal fans are here in the Valley. She mentioned that last year's show was one of her favorites from the tour, and she said last night's show was a favorite for this tour, as well. She even closed out the show with a tribute of sorts to Arizona with an acoustic guitar version of "Cactus in the Valley."
"I think my heart's in Arizona," LIGHTS said before she played.
Considering the loud cheers that erupted before and after just about every song at the concert, Arizonans are just fine with that.
Personal Bias: I'm a huge LIGHTS fan. I think Siberia is one of the best albums of 2011.
The Crowd: About half girls, half guys, in teens and early 20's.
Overheard in the crowd: "She's really charming for being so young."
Random Notebook Dump: I really wanted LIGHTS to play the song "River" and screamed for it loudly. Alas, she didn't take my request.
Drive My Soul
Flux and Flow
Everybody Break a Glass
The Last Thing on Your Mind
Where the Fence Is Low
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Cactus in the Valley