With a 4th of July weekend in full swing and no concrete plans, I decided on a little “staycation” in Miami Beach. As a local, I never had the full Miami Beach tourist experience.
Now if a drunken European tourist with a fist full of Euros asked me where the number one place to party is, the answer I would give my new drunk companion would be the famous club LIV inside the Fountianbleau Hotel. LIV is both revered and reviled in Miami. Some would never dare step through the doors of such a super club while others stroll in at ease to hear the hottest EDM DJs and hip-hop stars perform.
As I have thrown out my PLUR bracelets long ago and replaced them with black dancing boots and shirts of cryptic techno record labels, a 4th of July show with Kaskade just sounded right to kick off my “staycation.”
After the status quo laborious line to get in, I walked past the sharpest dressed doorman I have ever seen and entered the palace of EDM, alcohol, and money. LIV is by far the nicest club I have ever been to. The domed roof is coated in LED lights that change color with every beat, while massive disco balls hang from the ceiling with aplomb. VIP tables decorate the second floor while regular ol’ folks went to the first floor via white ballroom stairs to reach the bars and the packed dancefloor.
The sound system was all encompassing and as clear as a diamond. The opening DJ played modest EDM tunes and, at times, tracks that could almost pass for something, dare I say, “deep?”
Around 1:30, the former missionary and EDM argonaut, Kaskade took the decks. The club was packed with vicious selfie-takers and Kaskade diehards. A simple “whats up, Miami?” was enough to shake LIV to its core, while security guards made sure to keep order.
Kaskade opened with “Disarm You” and continued to play his hits: “Atmosphere,” “Room For Happiness,” and his remix of “Young and Beautiful” by the magnificent Lana Del Rey. He delivered anticipating buildups and euphoric drops all while a paroxysm of lights and confetti rained down on the audience. Even the typical deadpan sound engineer was going at it. It’s clear Kaskade’s music has an almost intoxicating effect on his listeners. All of a sudden, it felt like I was transported to when I first saw him back in 2012.
And like that, it was over. My sojourn stay amongst the rich and famous came to a close. Now did I have a paradigm shift that will make me want to ditch my techno church and go back to my EDM roots? No, not really.
However, one cannot deny how much Miami needs a place like LIV. While the politics of dancing are clear, our more clandestine venues need the super-clubs and vice versa. They both lead to gateways of music that would make the transition awkward had the other venue not be there — thus why LIV has hosted techno legends like Luciano and Richie Hawtin.
LIV will be closed for the rest of the summer for a massive, grandiose $10 million renovation to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see what comes out of it.
My dancing shoes and debit card will be waiting.