The line stretched around the block. And inside, it was already packed.
Numbers-wise, Hard Miami was a resounding success. On Wednesday, Poplife announced that the event was sold out, so demand was obviously pretty high for tickets. But unlike other sold-out events at the venue, Grand Central and Hard seem to have kept ticket sales rather reasonable, opting to let a safe number of people into the venue instead of packing them like sardines.
But you can crunch all the numbers you want, it really all boils down to the music.
We walked into the venue just as Busy P had started his set. Seeing him the night before at Bardot, we were sort of amazed how quickly the Ed Banger boss can adapt. His Bardot set, while energetic, fit the small-room atmosphere. At Hard, he went balls-to-the-wall with plenty of electro bangers including Justice's comeback, "Civilization." (Someone described the track to us last night as "bad metal." We don't disagree.)
Photo by Daniel De Las Casas
Unfortunately, our midnight arrival meant we missed sets by Mumbai Science, Tinie Tempah, Destructo, and Brodinski. And that wouldn't be the only bad news of the night. Busy P was supposed to be followed by labelmate SebastiAn, who didn't make it because of a missed flight. The crowd booed when Destructo (AKA Hard's Gary Richards) broke the news. But everyone seemed happy with the consolation prize, Benga. (The crowd even cheered at this point. So no one was crying for too long, expect maybe the girl that was holding a "Where is SebastiAn?" sign. Seriously.)
Next up was surprise special guest Fake Blood, who we confused for Switch. (Sorry, we get our bald white Englishmen mixed up.) He went right into it with his massive club hit "I Think I Like It," which borrows heavily from Arabesque's great '70s German disco track "In the Heat of a Disco Night."
Photo by Daniel De Las Casas
But everyone could see Diplo wandering around the stage during Fake Blood's short set. So people were getting antsy. And by the time he situated his MacBook, Diplo jumped in with a Major Lazer offering, while the rest of his set leaned toward hip-hop with helpings of his trademark world music. As usual, the crowd was eating it up, and with good reason. Diplo has proven that despite becoming a Blackberry spokesperson and a producer-to-the-stars, he's still that Hollertronix party boy at heart.
Low point during Diplo's set: Playing the Chris Brown track "Look At Me Now," which he co-produced with Afrojack. Sorry, we don't have to forgive Brown and move on. We would have been happier to see mini-Ike Turner disappear into obscurity.
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High point: Diplo dropping M.I.A. Are they on good terms again? Let's hope.
Unfortunately, we had to leave shortly after Diplo's set was wrapping up, meaning we missed DJ Mehdi and Tiga, who we really wanted to check out. But the 4 a.m. set time wasn't agreeing with our sleep schedule.