90’s house legend Danny Tenaglia, known for his sultry New York and Chicago inspired house, gave longtime fans and EDM newcomers alike much more than a dose of classic house at his WMC pool party this past weekend. Taking place at South Beach’s iconic Surfcomber Hotel, the pool party dubbed “Be Yourself” brought in a very diverse and eclectic crowd; attitudes and judgments were checked at the door. As soon as I entered, feet were moving frantically at every corner of the party. A platform that rose from the dance floor under the tent housing the DJs was overcrowded with people dancing; a male and female dancer in nothing but leather gear “danced” on risen platforms on opposite sides of the stage. Everyone’s hands were high, heads low, and feet moving.
Upon arriving, the tone of the party was very chill, beats with heavy drum influences had partygoers spellbind, rhythmically swaying to the sounds of opening DJ’s Wally Lopez, Mind Control, Patrick M, Cevin Fisher, Cocodrills, Sabb, and George Vidal. Each DJ took the crowd on a different journey, ultimately preparing everyone for Tengalia’s momentous entrance.
Patrick M, one of Miami’s notorious resident DJs gave the party that distinct Miami sound that delivers a mixture of progressive, deep, and tribal house, which further set the tone for the party’s atmosphere. Cocodrills gave us tech house and funky beats, while Spanish producer Wally Lopez delivered deep house and Ibiza inspired rhythms. Each DJ complemented one another flawlessly, and the transitions were not dramatic, as many shows with an extensive line-up often have DJs with two different sounds play one after the other and it completely changes the feel of the party. While that is perfectly okay and diversity is what the crowd is usually seeking, the consistency of the music at this party gave it a very mellow and “loungy” energy. The immaculate sets that these DJs were delivering combined with the impeccable weather and backdrop of the beach which was literally feet away provided quite the surreal experience for WMC first timers. The sun set directly behind the DJ booth, giving the crowd a picturesque setting before the final hours of the party.
As the weather changed and as the sun began to set, the party’s energy and atmosphere continued to shift. The beats got very dark & hypnotizing for a moment prior to Danny Tenaglia hitting the stage.
Danny Tenaglia hit the decks and immediately yelled “Miami!,” the anxious crowd already knew what was coming and immediately went into a frenzy. “Wow!” Danny said, “This is giving me Ibiza, amazing Miami!” The energy of the crowd immediately shifted from mellow to high energy. The beat kicked in with a heavy bassline and the lights were dimmed, an eerie red hovered over everyone under the tent and a sea of hands, cameras, and cell phones were all that could be seen from back to front of the venue. Going forward for the remainder of the evening, everyone was continuously moving. Danny schooled the crowd with deep house, tribal house, vocal house, disco, and many of his classics. He wasted absolutely no time and delivered a memorable and severe set that left everyone thoroughly pleased and drenched in sweat. The crowd, hypnotized by Danny’s immaculate set seemed to be in a daze upon the ending, wandering and feigning for more as the pool party came to a close.
If it had not been for the Surfcomber’s time restrictions, I assure you that party would have went into noon of the next day.