With the streets flooded with young, colorful electronic music buffs taking over downtown day two of Ultra Music Festival‘s first weekend was bananas! The talent was nothing short of amazing, spread out around multiple stages, seeing the best of the best was the only thing you could do. On Ultra Worldwide, Dirty South put on a show to remember with fists pumping, people jumping and the crowd going wild. When Laidback Luke took the stage with his lazer light show, everyone had no choice but to keep their hands in the air. Just across the lawn, Knife Party’s slightly dark and heavy took the main stage pumping out out body moving beats, fire show and golden dancers only leading up to sweet sounds of Kaskade with deadmau5 closing out the night with a performance to remember (fireworks and all) and one of the best sets played all night sending the festival goers home begging for more.
My fourth day in South Beach began with a refreshing and rejuvenating swim in the ocean while it seemed the rest of the world was still asleep. Stopped for an omelet brunch at the Ocean Drive Cardozo patio, indulged in a little people watching, and fended off the vendors selling everything from Caribbean cigars to hand-crafted, realistic-looking grasshoppers made from palm leaves.
I walked back again to the W Hotel for the final day of the cherished Belve Music Lounge party. pparently it was more cherished today since the epic guest at yesterday’s Belve event was electronic dance music front man Tiesto and the word was out. The line meandered to the parking and in front of the curiosity that was the Deadmau5 Sol Republic Soldier Shuttle.
Once inside the Belve, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano were delivering Empire of the Sun’s “Walking On A Dream” amid the throngs of doublefisting revelers enjoying their complimentary Belvedere concoctions like the Lemonade Powermix. Sander van Doorn revisited his appearance from last year and played Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl “In My Mind” featuring Georgi Kay (Axwell Mix) which simply epitomized the sentimentality in mood and lyrics of our farewell last day at the Belve Lounge.
Back at day 2 of Ultra Music Festival, Laidback Luke inspired hands held high in double ‘L’ as is tradition or maybe for the fact that he was blasting Avicii “Levels.” DJ Chuckie hopped up onto the decks to further fire up the crowd as Fatboy Slim “Praise You” went into Oasis’ “Wonderwall.”
I hurriedfrom the main stage to the live stage although that’s an inaccurate choice of words considering the incredibly dense crowd but I made it in order to catch the fun-loving and quirky Metronomy. Their robotic jerks of motion and quizzical stare melded so well with the lyrics and peculiar beats of “The Bay,” “Heartbreaker,” and “She Wants.”
Unfortunately technical difficulties with onstage equipment prevented M83 from taking the stage for more than 45 minutes past their 8:00pm start time. At 8:35 the crowd’s chants of “M-8-3” almost seemed to do wonders. The appeasement of M83’s appearance to the packed crowd didn’t last long since they only played two tracks kicking off with their powerhouse hit “Midnight City,” which even endured a three-second glitch of silence mid-song. What a shame since the band’s unique sound via animated use of multiple trigger pads and synthesizers is both visually and aurally stimulating and we definitely would have all loved to have seen so much more. They band scurried off with a similar frustration of the disappointed fans in attendance but promised to return.
Meanwhile at the UMF Brasil tent Andy C proved that drum n bass is alive and more than well and that the packed fans still know to, “Put your fuckin hands up,” on cue.
Approaching the main stage the signature crucifix of Justice could be seen from hundreds of yards away as the echoes of the Schoolhouse Rock styled “D.A.N.C.E.” reverberated.
Today’s featured artist, Avicii, on the main stage unfortunately competed with the very worthy 2manydjs on the live stage but the thrill of witnessing Madonna introduce Avicii and then join him in the booth was quite the impressive, rockstar spectacle. Not be outdone, Skrillex later snuck from behind the performing DJ to fanatically wave as if in a brief moment and in gest to steal Avicii’s thunder although no harm done. Avicii wowed with “Fade Into Darkness” and Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” as a possible tribute to his predecessors without missing a beat and almost oblivious to the antics going on behind him.
Day 3 of Ultra, the final Ultra of 2012, is all that’s left and I can’t help sing the lyrics from “Save This Moment” by John O’Callghan, “…save this moment. I don’t wanna stop it now. I don’t want for this to end.”
Ultra Music Festival 2012, taking place March 23-26, at Bayfront Amphitheater in Downtown Miami, sold-out almost instantly thanks to its stellar lineup of talent including: Tiësto, Kraftwerk, Carl Cox, Skrillex, Afrojack, Miike Snow, Pretty Lights, New Order, Groove Armada (DJ set), Dirty South, Loco Dice, A-Trak, Dada Life, Avicii, Justice, Fatboy Slim, Duck Sauce, M83, Carl Cox, Laidback Luke, 2manydjs, Metronomy, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, Bassnectar, Chase and Status, Bloody Beetroots (DJ set), Fedde Le Grand, Knife Party, Magnetic Man, John Digweed, Steve Aoki, Ferry Corsten, and many more.
Tickets are impossible to get, but Big Shot is giving away a precious pair of tickets to the three-day blowout courtesy of our friends at UMF.
Remember: you only need to tweet the above sentence once in order to enter the contest. Good luck!
• Entrants must be following @bigshotmagazine and @ultramusic
• Winner is responsible for transportation to/from UMF 2012
• Anyone found using multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible
• Contest ends at 12:00pm EST on March 22, 2012