Swedish House Mafia's One Night Stand at the Masquerade Motel, March 26

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Yesenia Hernandez
Sinning with Swedish House Mafia.
Sunday, a day typically reserved for Jesus. And if I were a praying man, I'd probably throw on a pair of kakis and confess that I was involved in a massive seaside dry-hump last night.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Over the course of seven hours, this indie music blogger was totally seduced by the fun of $14 gin and tonics and the pretentiousness of VIP. I was inside Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel, and if it that makes me a heathen, a low-life, a pookie head, or whatever, so be it.

I'd rather be accepted into the kingdom of house music, than lame-ass heaven anyhow.

Press check-in for the Masquerade Motel started at 11:45 a.m. However, a much-needed mid-morning nap lasted longer than expected, and delayed my arrival.

When I finally got there, though, Armand Van Helden was on the decks to welcome me with an hour-long set of hip-hop-meets-house that had tanned frat bros and sorority girls fist-pumping like Jersey Shore extras. I watched as a sea of people put their hands in the air for Miami, and yelled things like, "I fucking love this shit," and "Woo woo! Woo woo!"

Montreal's A-Trak followed Helden, and kept Miami dancing in the sand with his killer set that included an edited "Pop that Pussy." Perhaps it was a subliminal message for Miami-Dade voters to remember New Times' favorite columnist, Uncle Luke, is running for mayor and needs your vote. Or maybe it wasn't a campaign ad at all, just a tribute to Miami's OG party players, 2 Live Crew, at South Beach's biggest house party.

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Photo by Yesenia Hernandez

In any case, it was around the time A-Trak was wrapping his set that I met up with some friends at one of the back bars for a drink. At $14 a pop, the gin and tonics were heavy on the wallet but equally heavy on the alcohol. Shout out to the makeup-wearing dude with a Mohawk behind the bar. 

Just as Calvin Harris walked on stage and A-Trak was bidding adieu, a young man (probably on academic probation at his mid-Atlantic university) approached me with a rather serious look on his face.

"Hey, do you now where I can get some mollies?" he asked.

"What's that, dude?" I jokingly replied.

"You know, rolls." He nervously said.

"Oh, you mean like ecstasy and shit?"

"Yeah, dude," he replied, thinking he'd hit the pill pusher jackpot. 

"I don't have any. But, uh, just ask around and you'll likely find something."

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Victor Gonzalez

Back on the stage, Calvin Harris was the only DJ to mix Fatboy Slim, which was dope. He played "Praise You," and the crowd praised him for brilliant song selections.

A few cocktails after Harris' set, and somewhere during Dirty South's slot, a fight broke out near the back of tent in typical Miami-tough -guy fashion. For whatever reason, a dude wearing a grey tank, and sporting a colorful Virgin Mary on his arm went apeshit on some shirtless dude.

"Fuck you, bro."

"I'll fucking kill you."

The fight only lasted about two minutes. But eventually, they squashed the beef with a man-hug and a little fist-pumping.

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Photo by Yesenia Hernandez
Masquerade Motel ambassador Pete Tong.

When Pete Tong took the stage, I positioned myself across from the Provacateur VIP lounge on an unnamed "black wristband only" platform. I had a blue wristband, but convinced the hired security "all access" meant just that, "all access." (BTW It most certainly does not. All access is like saying something's expensive. What's expensive? What's all access? Semantics, yo.) 

Not surprisingly, Pete Tong's mixes were very Euro. He's a 20-year veteran of the BBC 1 radio station, an Englishman with a passion for dance music, and very excited to be part of SHM's Masquerade Motel.

"You're witnessing some Miami fucking history tonight," Tong told the crowd. " Welcome to the Masquerade Motel, the one and only, One Night Stand."

The stage was cleared of any equipment after Tong's set, and an impromptu "Seven Nation Army" chant erupted against the relative quiet between the British DJ's final song, and preparation for the Motel's headliners, Swedish House Mafia.



At 9 p.m., Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Axwell appeared high atop the Masquerade Motel stage in a custom LED DJ booth. There were fireworks, lasers, and more fist-pumping.

"Miami, make some fucking noise," Axwell yelled, as the other two-thirds of SHM stared into the massive orgy of sweaty bodies.

Immediately, shit got wild. A dude in VIP dumped an ice bucket (still cooling three bottles of Grey Goose) over his head. Girls wearing little more than wristbands and neon sunglasses were hoisted onto their partners' shoulders and fell into a deep Swedish trance as SHM pumped out beat, after beat, after beat.



A young security guard told me how excited he was about Masquerade Motel, assuring me, "This is the greatest job in the world!" He pointed at a bulge in the right pocket of his cargo pants, and said. "Look at this! I made a thousand dollars, bro. This is fucking nuts." Moments later, that security guard found out just how crazy his job really is.

At 10:15, a shirtless man in general admission ran to the VIP platform where the security guard was stationed, and frantically said, "We need help, some guy just had an overdose."

The security guard called for help as a group of guys carried a seemingly lifeless body to the edge of the VIP platform. House music grew louder and louder as a poor young man laid in the sand while friends hysterically tried to revive him, shoving a crushed water bottle into his mouth to prevent him from biting his own tongue off.

Only a handful of people in VIP even noticed the commotion, even though it was happening just four feet below them. One girl watched in horror as it all unfolded, repeatedly doing the sign of cross as tears streamed down her cheeks.

The last I saw of that guy, a paramedic was dragging him to safety. But watching that guy lose it put me on a bad one. The remaining half-hour of Swedish House Mafia's two-hour set wasn't fun anymore.

For the masses, though, it was fucking epic. The fist-pumping came to a close with fireworks, and an unexpected visit from Pharrell Williams on "One (Your Name)."

My stay at the Masquerade Motel was up, and I checked out with a lot of great memories, and one pretty terrible one.

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Location Info

Map

Masquerade Motel

8th St. and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

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18 comments
Hashhley
Hashhley

I WANT a bigger copy of the top photo of melanie and i !!!!!

Chanel
Chanel

Girl in the picture has no a$$. I'm just saying.

NothanksSHM
NothanksSHM

DD your so correct.. im glad i decided to go to Ultra music festival instead of a roach motel in the... sand? woo... -.- i could go to the beach for free in miami! I cant say Ultra was 100% organized but it seemed better organized than this shit, i heard some much bad stories and some good ones too but atleast all of Ultra's family got INTO the show and had a HUGE diverse lineup of WHATEVER YOU WANT AT THAT MOMENT! i still feel a little down on SHM ditching on Ultra but fuck it, All the artists Ultra delivered in the 3 days > roach motel, in my opinion! plus i got to hear all the SHM tunes i wanted IN ULTRA! :D with LOUDER and STRONGER BASS and more DANCING! not a day went by that i didnt hear a SHM tune in Ultra.

dd
dd

seriously looking at your video i see everything but epic. a typical lame ass miami party crowd nodding their heads to the nowadays overhyped and ever predictable swedish house mafia tracks featuring 30second synth parts followed by an echoing drum roll and a bassline that sounds exactly as it did in 2006. don't get me wrong it's cool to become famous and be successfull and those guys did an awful lot for the electronic scene but their sets just haven't progressed a single bit for the last 3 years. get over it people..

tan
tan

oh def shm set was weakest. pete tong and dirty south killed it, but there was plenty of talent

The Dondada
The Dondada

This guy sounds like Fisher Price my first concert experience...we want to hear more about the music. Things like this happen at heat games who cares.

Akirby9
Akirby9

I paid 4x face value for a ticket and waited in line for more than TWO HOURS to get in. Lost our spot in line after almost getting trampled by the mob. Finally made it in around 8:30 and the show was amazing but I was so pissed I almost couldn't enjoy it. They shouldn't have sold that many tickets if it was at capacity.

PS -- The $14 drinks were ridiculous, but even more ridiculous -- PAYING for toilet paper!! You've got to be kidding me. I could have went to Ultra and paid less and waited less.

Southsmoke
Southsmoke

The amount of tickets sold accounted for the capacity of the event. Its that the piece of shit untrained security guards were taking money and letting people in. I heard 1 guy bragging about letting a guy in for $40 LOL while others charged $100 which is way under ticket price. Next time Train and Hire REAL SECURITY NOT SOME MICKEY MOUSE BULLSHITT, AND GET SOME BETTER MANAGEMENT SHM YOUR MANAGERS ARE DOUCHEBAGS!!! U HAVE AMAZING HARDWORKING INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES OUT OF A SEA OF LAZY GARBAGE. VIP LOOKED 2 BE TAKIN CARE OF VERY WELL BY ONLY A FEW REGULAR FACES I WOULD BE SEEING CONSTANTLY RUSHING AND GETTING FOOD FROM VENDORS TRUCKS HALFWAY ON THE OTHERSIDE THROUGH A CROWD A FIST THROWING RAVERS. SHM YOU COULD HAVE MADE WAY MORE MONEY IF THESE THINGS DIDNT HOLD YOU BACK JUST IMAGINE....

Cane
Cane

Apparently the miami herald is backing up the claims of the editor of this article stating that an angry mob was outside the swedish house mafia set after not initially being let in. After the promoters of the event saw how dangerous the situation was become, promoters and security apparently gave in.

Cane
Cane

Actually the article is saying that it was the fire department trying not to let people in, however the fire department backtracked on that decision due to the mob.. The promoters were willing to let everyone in.

Amw3542
Amw3542

Wow. Was this your first concert ever? It doesn't matter what the act/concert/festival is, there are bound to be a few people who go too far. How amateur of you to let one person's bad decisions ruin your article about this epic event. Did you think they should have stopped the show because some kid decided to get a little too crazy?! Not everyone who listens to house music is a pill popping, crackhead/raver! This is insulting to those of us who attended this event and had a safe and AMAZING time. You are a complete drag and your stereotyping emphasis on the drugs and negativity is uncalled for. There were so many positive components that you could have focused on. The New Times used to be a great publication… no wonder it has taken a downward spiral, with people like you allowed to irresponsibly contribute rubbish like this. People like you are the reason that everyone misjudges electronic music lovers and the entire scene. Go back to St. Louis.

MAsquerade
MAsquerade

I don’t think the person who wrote this article is describing the general experience; i think it’s just his own. I myself loved masquerade however we have to admit it was crazy at times. i went to the bathroom once didn’t want to go back just not see the craziness at the entrance. It was a sea of people trying to get in and going crazy at the door people trying to dig holes in the sand to slide in. Kinda scary. It was an unforgettable experience for me even thou i have done ultra and many pool parties the past few yrs. Gotta say this is by far my Fav! Yet also a little scary at times looking at soooo many people.

Olga
Olga

Dude honestly I was all over the place, where the heck did you see these fights and the kid overdosing? I didn't see any of that. I must have been caught up in the rapture that is Masquerade Motel. If they repeat this next year during this same time ultra might have some competition. Forget ultra next year. THis event blew ultra out of the water. Supposedly, my bf did some research and the only way a massive event like that can take place on the sand in Sobe is for it to have some type of involvement with a fashion show, hence the models and the runway.

Renemachado1986
Renemachado1986

get updated...this was the last year that ultra will b n miami...no mor ultra in miami

Jbolo
Jbolo

Get updated... they already announced dates in miami next year... more ultra in miami

SHM fan
SHM fan

I got into VIP late, the side stage - security was extremely tight and hard to get through - i saw the OD on the other side of the fence, it was a little crazy- once they got the boy in the ambulance he tried to continue to rave! Crazy kid! looked like everything was going to be fine with him. There were so many people waiting with tickets that were not allowed in.

Chahiallday
Chahiallday

umm.quick question..i dont doubt u saw an OD,but how would u know that he tried to keep raving once he was in the ambulance if u cant see inside an ambulance...i should know,im a paramedic..so i kinda think ur making that up to sound funny..and theres nuthng funny bout an overdose..and also...if u wer a fellow partyer,how would you know of any one else with tickets that couldnt get in..??wernt u busy partying??i mean...who would b at a party and keeping track of any one that couldnt get in..and finally...i worked the masquerade...i set up decor and i attended tha party..not one person with a ticket was refused entry..i suggest u find a differnt hobby cuz lying on the internet is not working for u..later lier...

SHM forever
SHM forever

"not one person with a ticket was refused entry.." --- what party were you working? cuz there was an angry mob out there that wasn't allowed entry until they got so angry that police decided it would be safer to just let them in. I didn't see neither the mob or the OD because I was at the very front of the mayhem loving life. But i believe "SHM fan" seeing as how the guy could have been on GHB and done what many who take that crap have done...scare the crap out of their friends and then wake up suddenly.

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