The opening scene of Lights x MYTH’s “DEAD END In Joshua Tree” virtual concert, featured the alt pop musicians walking purposefully through the arid landscape of the California desert, towards a sophisticated performance set-up. They fist bump, and without a word, launch into a remix version of “Savage,” the song that made something of a star of Lights.
The brisk 42-minute set conveys an openness often missing in the new-normal standard virtual concerts; these two weren’t cooped up in a studio or apartment, and as a consequence there was a prevailing freedom to their show, a true vibrancy.
Canadian Lights—who was born Valerie Anne Poxleitner—is a compelling artist. With her startling flame-colored hair, bold persona and rich voice, she’s acquired a devoted fan base. She’s a true artist, penning thoughtful and profound lyrics to accompany catchy, polished melodies. In “Savage,” she sings of the pain of rejection: “I was hangin’ next to you by a thread from so high. We were heaven and the moon in the center of my eye. And now it shines on you. And I would kiss your crown. And then out of the blue, you would cut me down.”
The concert, which was unveiled on November 18, and was filmed by Christopher Heinrich, is a visual treat. A screen behind the musicians flashed vivid anime images, fiery clouds and searing pop-art graphics. Neon tubes light up the dirt ground and in the background, the sky turns dusky. This constantly shifting backdrop provides a fascinating accompaniment to the music. Lights X MYTH’s set (Myth is Tyler Smyth, a rock/metal producer turned EDM artist) included remix versions of Lights’ most noteworthy songs, including “Batshit” and “Dead End.”
In the optimistic “Until the Light,” Lights sings, “we’ll fight the good fight when tomorrow has come…cause we live free at least until the light.” There is a happy buoyancy to the melody, which, when performed by Lights and MYTH in the relative desolateness of the desert somehow managed to retain its inherent enthusiasm.
“Fight Club” is a legit dance tune, peppy and fun -this despite the aching sensibility of the lyrics, where the singer speaks of lovers in conflict; “throw my hands up, cause I had enough. It’s coming to a head, like it always does. Come and show me what you’re made of.” “Running with the Boys” is sweetly nostalgic, almost poetic in its messaging “we were kind of heroes, wicked little machines…without hesitation, kings of the forest town, holding the ocean down…”
“Dead End,” the performance, is perhaps something of a misnomer, as the concert showed Lights’ range and versatility. The event proved that she remains an underrated star, someone with a powerful voice and a majestic sense of music who deserves to be much more in the limelight.
And despite the name of the event, it showed that even in these dire times, there is no Dead End, and that Lights is really just at the beginning.
Savage (Intro) – Remix
Almost Had Me – Remix
Until the Light–Remix
Up We Go – Remix
We Were Here – Remix
Fight Club – Remix
Lost Girls – Remix
Running with the Boys– Remix
Skydiving – Remix
Savage (Outro) – Remix
Photo Credit: Mehreen Rizvi