The last day at the W Hotel for the SiriusXM Music Lounge proved to be bittersweet because the warm hospitality and stunning ambiance was coming to an end. But always in dazzling style the event went out with a bang wrapping up with the Armin van Buuren and Friends’ Armada Takeover with artists Cedric Gervais, Audien, Ørjan Nilsen and Andrew Rayel (below).
Audien mixed out from “Wayfarer” into “Sun And Moon” then on to “Now Or Never” and the staff cranked up the party mode a notch for this finale as the emcee jumped on mic to announce, “Give it up for Audien. Give it up for open bar!” The crowd cheered.
Ferry Corsten mingled with Ben Gold. Ruben de Ronde took a spot in the SiriusXM interview seat. Max Vangelli and Thomas Gold made their rounds. Ørjan Nilsen was full of on-stage antics even while dropping the beautiful “Once Lydian.”
Later in the day we hiked over to Miami from South Beach with the masses for the first day of Ultra Music Festival.
Zedd threw the crowd for a loop when he played his famed “Clarity” including a crowd involvement on the chorus but then dropped into the “Smack My Bitch Up” intro.
What has a bongo player, a ballerina and a man dressed in a rainbow and cloud covered robe and matching headband? That would be Basement Jaxx.
Their stage entourage, colorful costumes, island undertone tracks and crowd engagement made for one big party. Even more so when members of the group dropped down into the fronts rows of the crowd to dance. When they played their classic, “Where’s Your Head At” and then announced, “We’re all one love,” the whole crowd was in the aisles and encircling the stage. Let’s just remove the first 20 to 100 rows of the Live Stage arena, nobody’s using them.
The Worldwide Stage was no match for the Adventure Club crowd as fans spilled out into the street and found any possible spot to catch a glimpse of the act. On stage cameos are not uncommon during music week and this was no exception as “Rise and Fall” collaborators Krewella joined them in the spotlight.
The tucked away area of the UMF Radio Stage is one of the best-kept secrets of the festival. For Alvin Risk and Kill the Noize the grassy hill transformed into a dance floor as the thundering builds and killer drops had the crowd dancing in unison to match the same. The vibe and surroundings take you back to the look and feel of old school festivals. Both Risk and Kill The Noize kept the hidden gem alive and those involved in the frenzied spectacle would maybe not like this secret exposed to ensure keeping this prized possession untapped.
At the Live Stage the stoic Gesaffelstein maintained an intense concentration at his craft until his occasional arm upswing interrupted in the motion of a conductor at an orchestra as he swirled the fog encasing him.
Adding to the sentimentality of the day, MGMT singer Andrew VanWyngarden called out to the adoring crowd who were draped in hues of magenta and blue, “People, I love you all.”
At the Mega Structure, Carl Cox led his set under the space station ceiling with, “It’s been a wonderful 10 years and we’ll see you in another 10 years, I’m sure.” Oh yes! Oh yes!