WMC was in full effect in Miami last week as international DJs spun at a marathon of EDM events leading up to Ultra Music Festival. The parties leading up to the grand finale weekend of WMC gave partygoers the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite DJs, something not possible at the massive Ultra event where a record number of people arrive for the country’s largest EDM event of the year (next to Electric Daisy Carnival of course).
I had the privilege of attending a very personal show at The Wall with one of my favorite DJs this past week, Phazing Nights, featuring Dirty South. Originally the event only boasted a musical selection from the LA Riots, Norman Doray, Pierce Fulton, and Michael Brun, with “special guest.” It was pretty obvious the “special guest” was going to be Dirty South, as his Phazing events are not complete without the man himself. He only confirmed my suspicions when he tweeted shortly before the show: “Miami!! Phazing party at The Wall tonight with a special guest (cough cough).” The event took place at The Wall located inside The W South Beach. The venue, compared to competing venues in the area was very personal and allowed you to be almost face-to-face with the DJs.
Upon arrival, Norman Doray had just hit the decks and was already giving the crowd just what they wanted. This being my first time hearing Norman Doray, I definitely appreciated his eclectic selection of music. It was his transitions and mash-ups in particular that caught my attention, taking you on a journey of hip-hop mixed with trance, progressive house mixed with dutch house, while throwing in chart topping house tracks by Thomas Gold, Avicii, and Deniz Koyu. The crowd was very much pleased, and stood on lounge chairs swaying and jumping to Doray’s impeccable set. The crowd went crazy when he played his notorious tracks “Breakaway,” “Chase the Sun,” “Kalifornia” featuring David Tort, and last but not least “Trilogy” featuring Laidback Luke and Arno Cost. Furthermore, I was quite intrigued by his energy. A great number of DJs just stand behind the booth and press buttons (not a problem, we don’t pay to see the DJ juggle), but Norman Doray had a particularly energetic spirit and got the crowd involved, which kept the energy of the party high. He danced and viciously pumped everyone’s favorite house tracks, setting the tone for the remainder of the evening.
As Norman Doray was finishing up his set, Dirty South walked into the booth and the crowd was immediately drawn to the front of the room, surrounding the booth in anticipation of hearing Dirty South spin. Dirty South’s sets are infamous for delivering a mashup of chart topping house tracks, both classic and recent hits. His set included crowd favorites such as Swedish House Mafia’s recent release “Greyhound,” Kaskade & Deadmau5’s rendition of Empire of The Sun’s “Walking on a Dream,” Avicii’s “Levels,” and Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso’s “Calling.” Dirty South and his climatic drops made the show, increasing the energy of the room with every transition. The show wouldn’t be complete without Dirty South dropping his own chart-topping tracks, and he did just that and gave the crowd “Phazing,” “Coming Home,” “Eyes Wide Open,” and “Walking Alone.” One thing that was extremely noticeable of Dirty South was his very laid-back and friendly demeanor. It is not uncommon for DJs to be a bit arrogant, play their music, grab their coins, and hit it but Dirty South engaged with his fans more than I have ever previously seen any other DJ do. He quickly jumped off the decks for photo-opts with ecstatic fans and bumped fist and gave high fives to those that approach the booth to signal he was in fact delivering one nasty set. This observation made me respect Dirty South even more as an artist. As he closed the show he had the crowd singing along with his and Axwell’s rendition of Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition.” All in all, the crowd was not displeased and he gave me exactly what I was anticipating, an energetic set that definitely kept me and the crowd on our feet. Furthermore, I’m glad that the Phazing Nights event introduced me to French artist Norman Doray, if you are not familiar, do your research — I guarantee you will be pleased!
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