Lights All Night - Fair Park - 12/29/12 & 12/30/12
Covering day two of Lights All Night the same day as the Cowboys' final game of the season didn't seem like a bad thing a few weeks ago, when the team's playoff chances were non-existent. And then, as always, the team decided to eek out a chance at a playoff birth that hedged on them winning the final game of the season. This knowledge killed me as I stood in the Hanger watching Australian duo Nervo drive a crowd into a frenzy with their hit (and I might be breaking the rules of calling a song a hit here), "YGLA." These ex-model twins are talented, but you can't help but feel some of the hype comes from their back story -- who wouldn't sign a pair of model twins who claim to be music geeks.
While the early evening crowds were sparse compared to Saturday's flood of dancing bodies, the closer we got to A-Trak's performance, the more people seemed to pour in. I watched a duo named White Panda play a set of top 40 mixes, including a Calvin Harris hit that seemed to incite the crowd, a sure sign of who people were actually there for. While sitting to the side going over my notes and frantically updating Twitter for game scores, a young lady walks up to make sure I'm "all right." I guess cold medication makes you look like you're on a bad trip.
Hell yeah, guy wearing a robe to the rave. Photo by Maegan Puetz.
Over in the Main stage area, Fool's Gold Records owner and overall badass A-Trak was set to blow my mind. I am an A-Trak fan; I find his production to be damn near brilliant and I think his work with Kanye West was responsible for some of Yeezy's best tracks. Midway through A-Trak's set, I realize that with the drop-dead time between the end of his set and the beginning of Calvin Harris', I could make my way to the Meridian Room and catch a beer and a bit of the game.
In between watching the Redskins score and discussing LAN spillover with the bartender, Jordan, it seems when the fest lets out (at midnight Saturday and Sunday, due to a curfew) the area is flooded with people looking for rides because they missed the last DART train, and the Meridian was besieged by people trying to use the restroom and ordering water. During all of this, and with hope stemming from a halftime tie, I start to realize I'm not having the terrible time I expected.
Harris has by far the largest crowd yet, as his radio hits all but guaranteed this. I see a variety of people, from bros in deer-hunting vests dancing with girls in Adventure Time gear, to an older couple in two-stepping outfits gamely dancing along to the beat. Harris plays his Rihanna collaboration, "We Found Love," and the crowd completely loses it. He gets the crowd going by yelling, "Dallas, we're gonna have fun?!," leading to cheers and even heavier dancing. By the time he hits "Feel So Close" and "Let's Go," the lights are flashing at a rapid pace and people are all over each other. It's not even New Year's Eve yet and the make-outs are in full force.
When I walk back to the Meridian, Jordan sees my face and offers me a glass of Jameson. The next 15 minutes are torture, as I see the season slip away via a terrible throw by Tony Romo, a terrible call by the refs and texts from friends. When it's over, I drown my sorrows in my drink and turn just in time see someone walk into a sign. I take this as a signal to head back to the fest to lose myself to the sounds Bassnectar.