andhim brought their outlandish antics and beautiful beards to tear the roof off Trade Miami on Friday. Having never been to Trade or seen andhim live, I was excited for the experience and not let down.
Rather than take an exclusive approach and cramming as many booths as possible into a venue a la LIV or Story, Trade went for an inclusive approach, opting for a big, open dance floor, a handful of couches anyone can sit on and a minimal VIP section off to the side explained Lucaz of Miami Rebels, as he took me on a tour before the night really kicked off.
A big-enough L bar manned by a burly, yet effeminate carnie in drag and a handful of others unobtrusively took up about a third of the club while a giant parachute draped down from the ceiling creating an intimate feel. While you won’t get the same light and lazer show you’d expect from some of the bigger venues in town, the vibe is more than worth the trade off as the focus is put on the music and the people – see the first article in the Miami Rebels bill of rights:
“Treat all humans as if they hold maximum vital importance to you at all times in any circumstance”
This was the first night of iii points and Miami Rebels partnered with the festival to host the official after party at Trade, bringing in andhim to drop some delicious house beats. The Germans arrived around midnight having recently thrown down at Verboten in NYC during an Oktoberfest rager complete with beer, brats and babes.
They arrived around midnight sporting the beards that recently earned them a trophy for the best in the biz from DJ Awards. Simon and Tobias (Toby, please), were as kind and quirky as their videos would lead you to believe and after a short and fun interview where we discussed hopes, fears, tracks and what they do in their downtime, it was back to the booth to kick off their set.
By now Trade was pretty much packed, the typical Friday night crowd accentuated by the iii points spillover. andhim took the decks to thunderous applause and cheering and launched into a sexy superhouse track as the bodies on the dance floor writhed along to the rhythms. Despite minor technical difficulties of one monitor not working for the first forty minutes or so, they still mixed in and out like the consummate professionals that they are.
No, really. In an era where lack of technical expertise and experience can be compensated for largely in part with technology, once you’ve been to enough shows or seen some of the greats like A-Trak and Laidback Luke, it becomes easier to tell who’s mixing live and playing to the crowd and who’s pretending to twist knobs to mostly pre-planned big room bangers.
Toby and Simon traded control of the decks back and forth as smoothly and effortlessly as ballroom dancers, feeding off each other and the crowd to lay down their originals and remixes including their remix of Elderbrook’s “How Many Times” and my personal favorite, their take on Oliver Koletzki’s “50 ways to love your liver” as well as original tracks “Walkmen”, “Bermudachords” and of course “Boy Boy Boy” and plenty of others from their discography.
Four the next four hours they laid down their individually nuanced track selections, methodically working the crowd up and down like puppet masters as the cooler kids from Miami danced and cut shapes to their grooves. If you want to see a fun set packed with fun and originality or you just want some solid music in the background to dance to while you’re out with your friends, andhim has you covered.
Their US tour just ended, but they’ll be back soon. In the meantime, you can catch them at ADE with La Familia over in the Netherlands or down in South America at the end of this month.