It all started with Chicken & Beer. The latest chapter in Corona’s Electric Beach series was held atop the Viceroy hotel in Club Fifty, their rooftop pool lounge. These events pop up around the country and bring together great artists and good beer. The best part? There’s no cover. All you had to do was RSVP and that got you access to an awesome party with incredible views of the Miami skyline. The chicken, potato salad and slaw was all delicious and free of charge and the buckets of Corona were affordable.
I arrived shortly after the event began and the place already had a healthy crowd, which continued to grow as the sun set. A handful of familiar faces graced the deck, like TWRK and Ape Drums, who both make regular appearances at these events, alongside some heavy hitters like Major Lazer’s Jillionaire, who did a back-to-back set with Party Favor that featured freestyles from reggae star Bunji Garlin.
As the sun dipped down below the towering highrises of downtown Miami, it was time to wrap up and head over to the old RC Cola Plant in Wynwood to catch Above & Beyond at their only MMW performance. This graffiti covered, walled-in courtyard made the perfect backdrop. Last year, the event was held in Mana Wynwood and while I was happy to see A&B outside of a club setting, the warehouse sound stage that is Mana quickly became an oven. The weather was nice and on the cooler side and every now and then we’d be fortunate enough to catch a little breeze.
A handful of faithful had turned out early to catch Judah, an up-and-coming duo out of Minneapolis who’s put out some insane remixes and original on Anjunabeats.
Next was a back-to-back set that pitted Moon Boots against Jody Wisternoff. The two both have a soulful deephouse vibe to them, so it was no surprise to see how well they worked together. More people continued to trickle in and by the time Grum and Yotto took the stage, the place had filled up considerably in anticipation of some Group Therapy. After an hour of deep jams that escalated into something more trancey and energetic towards the end of their set, the music went quiet and the lights shut off.
Paavo and Jono took the stage at midnight to the thunderous cheers and applause of the trance family and by now, the entire courtyard had been filled and was spilling out into the street. The energy was great though, as to be expected at an A&B show and everyone seemed to be in great spirits. They played a harder, faster set more akin to something you’d expect to hear at a festival as opposed to on their weekly Group Therapy radio show that fit the atmosphere of MMW perfectly. The track selection included everything from driven-by-bass bangers to melodic classics, but they all still fit within the trance/house style and after a raucous, two-hour set that shook the walls of Wynwood for blocks on end, the button was pushed and Above & Beyond ended another magnificent performance.
The entire Anjunabeats family did a great job and delivered some solid music, both classic and new, to their adoring fans. All in all, not a bad way to begin Miami Music Week.