The zeal that came from this new year felt universal. Hello 2019. The month started off strong with many artists here for NYE parties. Jamie Jones b2b Marco Carola, Robbie Rivera, Benny Benassi, Alesso, Chus & Ceballos, and Cocodrills each had their own party. The intensity did not taper down post-NYE. Shiba San spun four days later at Space, and unfortunately, someone died from an overdose there. I heard someone call the act, “selfish.” The only comment I have is that I can believe it. Shiba San came out of the gates swinging with his set. You had to be prepared for that one.
A stark contrast was the following week’s set with Ame b2b with Adriatique. I heard this was a “beautiful” party. The music they played isn’t typical for the terrace, but one source said, “As a musician, I can tell they put a lot of thought into it. At one point they teased a song, but didn’t play it for another hour. And in between, the songs that built up to it were extremely thoughtful.” Another source described the energy that morning as spellbinding. “Everyone was together and in harmony.”
The last two weekends, Space hosted Victor Calderone and Maceo Plex. Victor was a shoe-in, of course, and Miami locals knew it. His set kept getting better that by 10:30a many including myself did not want to leave. But the winner of the month goes to Maceo Plex, who closed us out last Sunday. I kept hearing people use the Miami marathon as an excuse to stay late (traffic was shutdown until 10a), but in my opinion, it was the music that made them stay.
The Under the Radar label threw its weekly Sunday night parties at 1-800-Lucky, hosting Kristen Knight, Ivano Bellini, Jesse Perez, Technasia, and Cocodrills. Their first-Sunday-of-the-month party was “Ladies Night.” Only women DJ-ed, beginning with Rita Valenti from the Relic label, then Kristen Knight who killed it in the booth with her long pink. Yes, even in DJing (or music blogging), the future is female.
The Housecats label threw its weekly Sunday afternoon parties at Centro, a personal favorite of mine. Centro was closed MLK weekend, but that’s when many discovered the lush, tropical oasis of Proyecto Tulum across the street. The setup is very different from Centro, but the musical vibes are just as good.
Mid-month, The Hangar started its Monday morning after-hours with Differ. The party starts 4am, so now you don’t have to go home after the Sunday parties of Tulum, Centro, or Lucky.
As for special events, the Groove Cruise set off at capacity for its 15th anniversary from the Port of Fort Lauderdale. Since it used to set sail from the Port of Miami, it’s still very much considered a Miami music event and is promoted as such. Artists included Kaskade, Aly & Fila, Hot Since 82, Markus Schulz, MK, Simon Patterson, Anthony Attalla, Chus & Ceballos, Cocodrills, Eli & Fur, Prok & Fitch, Roger Sanchez, Kristen Knight (Roger Sanchez’s girlfriend, previously mentioned), Carabetta & Doons, Kristina Sky, and others.
Loveburn 2019 also took place on Virginia Key. I haven’t heard much in terms of reviews. All I know is that I saw Dude SkyWalker on the line-up for Friday and that kind of made me wish I had a $300 ticket to the event.
Robbie Rivera started a residency at Hyde Beach club, but no news on when the next party is scheduled. Sharam came through at Treehouse. Story hosted Steve Aoki and LIV hosted Kaskade. I remember a time when I got excited for both these artists.
A special appearance was made by Danny Tenaglia at the Electric Pickle. This is the man who put Club Space on the map when he celebrated his 25th year as a DJ there in 2001. Needless to say, the event oversold and by 2am the party was packed. So much so, it made dancing difficult. One opinion of the set said, “It was a good house set, but not enough boom for me.” Another said they danced their ass off.
Oscar G keeps up his weekly Friday night parties at 1-800-Lucky, and also made a Saturday night special at Treehouse. Meanwhile, the Relic brand with Fiin as the mainstay puts Factory on the map each and every Saturday night.
Barter is a new venue in Wynwood owned by the same guys who put on Rakastella. This is where Cocodrills brought in the New Year. Personally, I like the outside area, but the state-of-the-art speakers inside are surrounded by some hideous decor. The many birdcages creep me out. But that didn’t keep music fans away from Jesse Calosso late on a Sunday night.
Overall, it was hard to catch a breather this month, and there won’t be any slowing down until Miami Music Week, which is less than 60 days away. Are you ready? Physically, mentally, financially? MMW plans coming up.
What was your favorite January event? And what about February has you pumping? For me, it is MAYA JANE COLES 😁 See you out there!