Dragonette nailed the performance at LIV on Wednesday. Her velvet voice is not an altered, generated-reflection, but is rather a genuine perforation of raw talent. So much so that it seems unreal.
Her groove is eclectic, and her style is chic but laidback. She not only pleased the crowd with her sound, but she also performed more than the three-song quota most guest performances are required to do.
Thursday, Pete tha Zouk got marketed attention for his debut at Arkadia’s Subliminal Sessions party.
And perhaps the best follow-up to Wednesday’s party was Sunday night’s showcases of Sebastian Leger at SET and Martin Solveig at Arkadia.
Only two more weeks to WMC, and we can’t wait!
—Updated February 28, 2011–
Highlights of the weekend include Dimitri Vegas + Like Mike at Cameo, Luciano at LIV, and Sunday performances of D. Ramirez at SET and Robbie Rivera at Arkadia Poolside.
These artists as well as those to come are officially on the WMC ball.
—Updated February 21, 2011—
Thomas Gold concluded his set at Cameo on a subpar note. Drunk and repeating multiple songs from the beginning of his set did not leave a good taste in our mouths. Bob Sinclar certainly put on a more repertory debut.
Chuckie played at LIV on Saturday for a packed house. Those not wanting to pay steep door prices must have gone to Mansion to see John Dahlback who spun alongside Albin Myers. The event of the week though goes to Erick Morillo who came back to the Space terrace for yet another fantastic party. Even Chuckie and Thomas Gold showed up for the event! Props go to Morillo for capitalizing on his rise to fame and for making himself legendary in process.
—Updated February 14, 2011—
With what seemed like a break in the regular steam of house hitters came as a relief to many heavy DJ followers. Morgan Page would have been an interesting contender to catch this weekend, but being that he played in Ft. Lauderdale, the journey from the motherland was simply too far to trek.
—Updated February 7, 2011—
Artists this past week were good, but not great. Wippenberg spinned a few great songs, but his rhythm was not consistent. Just as there were packed moments of inspiration, there were lulls that obliged dancers to simply step side-to-side.
Bart B was a great opener Saturday night at Mansion and perhaps put up too high of expectations for Dada Life. The crowd greatly diminished half-way through the night, and it was nothing quite memorable.
Normay Doray was probably the best this week. Too bad the best parties are saved for Sundays, when most people have work the next morning. He’s a DJ you’ll want to see at some point or another.
—Updated January 31, 2011—
Today, the Groove Cruise made land again, and unfortunately those vacationers will have to resume to the normality of their lives, whatever that may be.
Dirty South and Cedric Gervais were the main players this weekend. They play so much here as it is, we’re not going to say much.
They’re good, and if you haven’t checked them out in a while (or at all), you definitely should.
—Updated January 24, 2011—
Our predictions for Funkagenda came forth on Thursday when the Brit brought soul-satisfying sounds. By the end of the evening, a dance craze took over, spurred on by a Calvin Harris remix. It was the only “popular” song of the evening, and perhaps that’s what made the crowd explode into oblivion.
Take this as a testament to his abilities as a DJ. He will blow you away in the first fifteen minutes and keep doing so for the next two, three hours of his set. What’s great is that you rock without knowing the majority of the songs he uses. Nothing is mainstream about it. His style relies on the movement of the beat, not on what the crowd will buy (like so many DJs gone rogue…Swedish House Mafia, Max Vangeli, AN21, and even a little Avicii.)
And because of this progression in his set, when he drops a remix of Everybody Dance Now, it’s ok! (and it sounds good!) It is also a progression, which we believe, led to such a great finale.
We hadn’t experienced a dance party like that in a very long time.
Erick Morillo came on the deck for a song or two, and other hitters this weekend include Sydney Blu, Oscar G, and Sultan with Ned Sheppard. However, Funkagenda takes the cake.
—Updated January 17, 2011—
It seems just a couple months ago Dirty South’s double-header set a precedence for artists yearning to get more of that Miami buzz. Tiesto followed his step and now Avicii has done the same. Formerly recognized by his birth name, Timm Berg, Avicii rocked LIV Saturday night and then did the same for Arkadia on Sunday. It was a great move on his part, for there seems to be some serious fans following the young Swede behind the sound.
It’s a pattern that’s bound to resonate as Miami is increasingly recognized by artists as a house music mecca. In an October ’10 interview, Avicii claims Miami to be his favorite crowd to spin for.
“I think my best gig was at Space Terrace in Miami. It’s probably the best gig I’ve had. Either that or the Terrace in Ibiza at Space as well.
“What was it about Miami…”
“Well the crowd in Miami is just a phenomenal crowd to play for. Because they’re really educated, and they know your music and, they know what you’re playing. And they know you as an artist as well. That’s why I really liked that place. It’s the only place in the world where you can have the headliner start at 9 o’clock in the morning and have a full venue, and everyone is into it from the start.”
What Avicii was referring to was his debut at Space Miami Fourth of July weekend. He spinned 7-9am, a relatively short set for Space, but it was a great one at that. He continued the day at the Surfcomber Pool Party spinning just several hours later around 4pm. It must’ve been quite a day for the artist, who very much to our liking presented distinguishing sets for each of the two parties. We welcome him here anytime.
Max Vangeli, like Avicii, grew to a larger venue when he showcased his stuff at Mansion Saturday evening. And Loco Dice crazed Space-goers til the early morning Sun greeted them hello. We do believe it was a good weekend for all.
—Updated January 10, 2011–
New Year’s went off without a hitch.
Afrojack drew an outrageous crowd the Wednesday before the big day. One of the two lanes on Washington Avenue was blocked with fan-farers itching to get in. And when the crowd finally subsided? A hundred dollars a pop to get in. That’s when others got up to LIV to see DJ Vice instead.
Cedric Gervais hit the LIV stage on Thursday.
As for the night of nights, an amazing number of international artists chose Miami as their place of celebration, including Tiesto and Kaskade. Nicki Menaj, Fatboy Slim, Rony Seikaly, DJ Dan and Austin Leeds also worked the evening away at various hotspots around the city.
With New Year’s being on a Friday, Saturday gave just as much promise. Calvin Harris hit Mansion, Steve Angello rocked LIV, and Mark Knight sustained a long, serious night of deep house at Space.
Kudos to all the DJs that made Miami the place to be! We, the locals, are oh so thankful.
—Updated January 3, 2011—
Christmas came and went. The nightlife stayed relatively quiet, but Diplo and Calvin Harris put on a duo show that made December 23rd seem like any other night of the year. For this, props to them.
—Updated December 27, 2010—
The past week has been a bit quiet. However, a couple special artists hit the DJ booths this weekend. Funkerman played Friday at Cameo,, and Boris played Space afterhours on Saturday for their toy drive. Perhaps artists are just like us, staying close to their loved one during this holiday season.
—Updated December 20, 2010—
La Roux sang three songs for Mansion patrons this past Wednesday. Misinterpretation that a full performance was in line left many disappointed. However, the artist did own her performance from beginning to end, leaving everyone wanting more.
Stars for the weekend line up like this: Michael Woods at Cameo. Markus Schulz at Space, and Nic Fancuilli at SET. It was a good week in Miami to party and listen to some great music.
—Updated December 13, 2010—
Kaskade played for a very cool atmosphere that livened up a typical Wednesday night. Special party with guest list only invites provided a rightly full venue, and not one seriously packed.
Oppositely, David Guetta performed alongside his wife Cathy Guetta at Mansion on Saturday, providing a party plagued by mass crowding.
—Updated December 6, 2010—
A heavy hit of artists came to give thanks. Some big names included Axwell, Steve Angello, and Erick Morillo. Dancegiving Music festival in Ft. Lauderdale let music followers burn some calories at the day-long event with Cedric Gervais, Steve Aoki, Robbie Rivera, LA Riots, and Wolfgang Gartner. With so much going on, we wonder, did this week reach a peak that will not be seen again until Winter Music Conference in March? We will have to wait and see.
—Updated November 29, 2010—
The S-Man, Roger Sanchez, and his Saturday night partner, Sidney Samson, were the attractive event this week. It seems Mansion has successfully rescued its harboring reputation over the past year. Just when an Opium Group club seems to be on a the verge of despair, its marketing team paired with secretive inside promoters and schedulers, make the turn around that is so desperately needed.
Mansion has been threatened in the past by a coup d’etat of ghetto flip-flop wearing, white t-shirt bearing patrons, but that day has not come to pass as of yet. From from so, Mansion continues to house major artists from around the world.
To bring the point home, look at Cameo. Chris Lake just performed there Friday night, a very well-established DJ that brings the heat. And he plays at Cameo? The place is run-down with mold most likely growing in the walls. Somehow, though Opium Group uses its magical verve to continuously breathe life to its clubs and sway artists into the resuscitation process.
—Updated November 22, 2010—
A multitude of enthralled fans came to experience Dirty South on Saturday at Mansion. Many were in the younger half of the club-going demographic, and hence the passion and the energy was at a climax through and through.
It seem a predominantly drug-induced culture follows the artist, or at least attended his show on Saturday. Mansion after all is the playground of the Opium clubs, and it would come naturally to choose Mansion as the place to let loose and have true colors be shown. SET remains refined and comparatively poised to the bewildering acts that can be seen at Mansion. This is where Dirty South performed a consecutive second night in Miami, and let the fans (who could afford it) have their fill.
—Updated November 15, 2010—
Boyz Noize rallied up fans at Mansion on Wednesday bringing dirty beats and gorgeous sounds. Calvin Harris also played there this week for a seriously packed house. Every VIP table had a bottle, upstairs and down, complete with a bride and her groom, choosing to post-celebrate with the Australian DJ.
Tiesto played that same night at the Fontainebleau…how it looked we do not know. All that’s certain is that there was bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching back to the 195 – a testament to the golden god’s measure of success in the trance/house arena.
Max Vangeli and AN21 played their joint set at Arkadia – the Fontaninbleau’s more intimate setting for club=goers. The crowd was appeased in the first hour, but finally in the second hour is when the DJs brought on the heat. We wish DJs wouldn’t tease like that. We’re in anticipation as it is. One mellow song, ok. Two songs, alright. But an hour of mild house? No way. We are not spending our weeknights out til 5am for that. We want the hard beats and the new sounds – not stuff we continously hear from every set they have already played. This is Miami, we have high expectations.
—Updated November 8, 2010—
Halloween has come and gone, and somehow we have managed to keep ourselves among the living.
Swedish House Mafia brought a taste of Ultra this weekend with a spectacular performance. The massive tent held over 10,000 fans with room to breathe. The threesome got to spin after Steve Angello’s younger brother, AN21, amped up the crowd with similar sounds.
The Halloween freaks came out in every costume you can imagine. Roman soldiers, Lady Gagas, and Katy Perrys roamed the quarters, but the most impressive was a staff member dressed as an Avatar, who’s full-body make-up (complete with facial prosthetics) and a wig made him look unreal.
Avicii hosted the best afterparty for the evening. Avicii has very much developed his skills since the last time he came for Fourth of July. Less progressive and more club-worthy, he rocked Mansion with costumed beautys and freaks alike.
—Updated November 1, 2010—
Arkadia opened to the public yesterday. The Fontainebleau’s new club is beautiful with a modern winter-wonderland vibe that is more Lion, Witch, Wardrobe than Santa’s Northern Pole. Lights emit soft reds and blues, illuminating a space that is chillingly tantalizing. The low-ceiling lounge is deceivingly large and fittingly acts like kid sister to the upstairs LIV.
Speculation revolves around its Sunday night opening. Since SET Sundance has come to a close, could Arkadia be taking on its own themed house party? Sundance resident Stephan Luke was seen behind the DJ booth last night, hinting that the possibility is definitely there. We will all be curious as to what develops in the months to come.
Felix Da House rocked Pinkroom on Friday. The new kid on south beach venue pulled off the event successfully, proving that Pinkroom is capable of hosting artists of high-notoriety and bringing in fans that do not disappoint. By the end of the night, all patrons, men and women alike, were allowed to join the DJ on stage and party the night away until close.
—Updated October 25, 2010—
Bloody Beetroots takes the cake for the best party thrown this week. The sounds were so good from beginning to end that who could complain. Actually, there is one complaint – Our ears. Walking out of Mansion, one could not hear a bloody thing. The impaired hearing even carried onto the next day, proving that the level of sound intensity indeed makes a difference in overall experience. Next time, we are forewarned: Bloody Beetroots require ear plugs…just in case.
TV Rock played for a weird crowd at Cameo, many of which seemed uninterested in the special guest DJ. He started off the set with generic no-brainers that would please the crowd including “Been a Long Time” and a variety of Swedish House Mafia hits.
However, just when we were being convinced that his talent did not equate to his fame, he proved us wrong, and kept proving us wrong until the end of his set. He worked it hard from the beginning, all over the switchboard. He scared us with a freak-out facial expression that indicated a mess up, but he didn’t, and he actually blew us away. The music he played varied from airy to tribal and he even threw in some tech house in the middle. A small group of devotees rocked the night away with him, and plain as day, TV Rock did not want to stop spinning. He was having a lot of fun…but eventually he gave up his thrown and bid us farewell.
Fans of Vampire Weekend are surely pleased to have experienced their live show with opening act Beach House.
Luis Puig turned another year older, not far behind Space which turned 10 in May. He has much to celebrate, pursuing a passion that has materialized into him owning and DJing at the nation’s #1 club. Kudos, Luis Puig, and Happy Birthday.
—Updated October 18, 2010 —
Space is officially open for business again. After a 5-week vacation, staff members are back to work and club-goers are back to play. Danny Tenaglia reemerged in Miami after a long hiatus from the city we all know and love.
On Tuesday, indie band Yeasayer played at the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleeson Theater.
On Wednesday, an even bigger crowd supported LCD Soundsystem who rocked the same house with the beloved James Murphy leading the group.
Lastly, Sundance Sundays at SET have officially come to a close for the season. Abel Ramos did the party justice with his tech-house sounds with resident DJ Stephan Luke shutting it down. Sundance will be missed!
–Updated October 11, 2010–
UMEK performed at Mansion on Saturday for a well-generated turn-out. This guest artist released a refreshing atmosphere after a weird and disappointing set by Dennis Ferrer just two weeks ago.
Uplifting bass-thumping techno drowned the dance floor as musical sensations lifted up the crowd. UMEK had the incredible force and capability of bringing about a certain aura to the rapturous patrons. Everyone was dancing, groovin or jivin, laughing or smiling – the sight was stupefying…one that’s normally only witnessed at a Space Afterhours event. The energy was magnetic, the crowd enthralled, but after one long break in continuity, the moment was gone, and Mansion became Mansion again.
Nonetheless, UMEK played a good set that night, and probably put on the best party en la playa Saturday night.
Now Funkagenda hosted the best party in Miami without a doubt on Sunday night. He received a warm welcome since his last visit in May. A perfect balance of well-suited attenders filled the large corridor of SET – not too packed to move and not too empty to be insulting. It was perfect.
Not a VIP table was empty, leaving some guests to have their bottles right at the bar, but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s night. The music was spot on from start to finish with Funkagenda playing a three-hour SET. And of course, resident DJ Stephan Luke opened and closed the night with panache. The nerdy Funkagenda sure knows music, and can jam to it too. We hope he comes back soon!
— Updated October 4, 2010 —