Leaving home, X-Box and Lights

(Photo by Jody Waardenburg)

This year, Laurier’s Orientation Week (O-Week) tradition welcomed Canadian singer Lights, real name Valerie Something, for the On-Campus Celebration — a well-known first year extravaganza in the form of several activities at separate locations on campus.

The Theatre Auditorium provided ample space for students to enjoy the headlining musical performance Lights—an artist who resides in Toronto and is no stranger to the Laurier campus.
In preparation for the performance, Lights seemed eager to entertain the crowd and was enthused about the energy around campus.

“They’re all spirited up and that’s the perfect vibe for going into a show because everyone’s excited and ready to party,” Lights commented.

Lights has been touring her new album Siberia Acoustic since its release in April 2013. It is a striped down version of her 2011 record, Siberia. Playing a full show with her band was a refreshing change of pace for Lights who delivered an incredibly energetic performance.

First year students cheered in anticipation as Lights took the stage with her synth-infused electronic indie sound. The students proved to be a solid audience as they attempted to crowd surf and danced to the rhythm.

“I like the way you shake your hips, guys. They’re loose. You got loose hips. Loose hip Laurier one might say,” Lights told the crowd before playing a cover of Blondie’s hit “Heart of Glass.”
Lights entertained first years with her famous hits “February Air” and “Second Go.” In between songs, the band would play captivating beats while she engaged in stage banter.

At one point, she had the crowd cheering, “It’s great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk” while the band added beats and chords to make the infamous Laurier chant into a catchy jingle.

“That has got to be the most musical chant I have ever heard at a school! I love that!” encouraged Lights.

In an interview prior to the performance, Lights explained that she is currently working on new music and it has been a long process.

“I’m really just collecting songs and figuring out what sound direction it’s going to be—probably looking at next year for a new release,” she explained.

In terms of collaborations on the new album, Lights simply smiled and said, “We’ll see.” Lights also offered advice for the first year students who are experiencing change and new challenges in their new journey into academia.

“I moved away across the country when I was 18 just like a lot of these kids are doing. It was scary but that’s where the good stuff comes from. The best stuff comes from those times where you challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone,” reminisced Lights on her first time away from home.

“You walk into somebody else; you walk into the person you are going to be. I think that’s my biggest advice probably, don’t be afraid of being a little scared. Just go for it.”

On stage, Lights added leaving home was awesome. “That’s when I got all my tattoos. And suddenly, you’re free but it becomes this whole new world,” she explained just before she played “Timing is Everything.”

The flow of students varied throughout her performance and in instances of a smaller audience, the crowd was able to experience Lights on a more personal level.

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