A cow suit with udder, a neon work vest, Mario Brothers costumes and bras for shirts were among the clothing choices of the more than 5,000 young fans who came to the Times Union Center on Saturday night for three hours of electric music.
The headliner was Pretty Lights, helmed by Derek Smith, who performs using laptops that allow for a combination of borrowed songs and organic beats. Pretty Lights was one of the headliners for Camp Bisco in 2011 at Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville.
A concert by Pretty Lights is more than just the music, according to 20-year-old Yuri Chavez, a student at Marist College. “It’s a chance to join a style,” she said. “It is very free.”
Before the show, Chavez and fellow classmate Hannah Levien, 19, were eating dinner at a pizza place on the street. Their outfits wouldn’t have drawn attention if they were walking down the street, except for how light they were for the cold night, but the random drawings on their faces stood out. Chavez said the face painting was just something random and goofy they did as part of the experience.
The face painting wasn’t unique inside the Times Union Center, where some arms and faces were painted with bright colors. Levien said the ability to dress or accessorize however you feel is part of the atmosphere.
“It’s a non-judgment zone ... nobody really cares,” she said. “I like dressing up and looking like a crazy person in a way.”
At the same time, Levien said the event is about a shared experience. “For me I like the idea that I might meet a person who likes the same music as me or dances the same way I do.”
Chavez added, “It’s a bonding experience ... It’s not just about grinding on some random guy.”
The scene outside the venue an hour before opening act Eliot Lipp went on at 8 p.m. was calm. No large crowds formed on the sidewalks and the scene did not resemble anything close to the brawl of the recent foam party at the Armory on Washington Avenue in Albany.
The crowd was almost completely under 30 years old, with most in their late teens and early 20s.
Before the opening act people milled around the floor of the Times Union Center, but as soon as the opening act started they pushed toward the stage and formed a mellow mosh pit. Some people remained scattered on the other side of the floor, including a girl who was spinning a hula hoop in the air that had been upgraded with a string of lights.
Among the densely packed crowd people were waving their hands in the air, gyrating from the hips or bending their knees to the beat.
The appearance by Pretty Lights was part of The Illumination Tour 2012.