Two good things are better than one, and by that logic, the Life in Color Miami Festival just got a whole lot sweeter.
The "largest paint party in the world" brought Martin Garrix to Sun Life Stadium last night in order to announce the return to its hometown for not one but two days of gooey, sticky, dayglow-covered untz. Crack open a glowstick and mark your calendar for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 26 and 27.
C'mon kids. There's no better excuse for skipping out after a week of uncomfortable family holiday dinner conversation than dance music.
The over-the-top half-time performance at the Guinness International Champions Cup Final soccer match between Manchester United and Liverpool was watched by about 60,000 attendees and broadcast in 150 countries.
"They offer us to the opportunity to produce a halftime show in front of two of the biggest soccer teams in the world, especially me being a huge soccer fan, it's such a privilege," said LIC co-founder Sebastian Solano.
Even the 18-year-old superstar Garrix was amped.
"I love football," he said. "I used to play myself when I was younger. It's crazy and it's an absolute honor to be here today."
In a way, Garrix's festival anthem electro house is perfectly suited for such a stadium performance, not that he saw it coming.
"I think it's a really interesting culmination," Garrix said. "When I'm in the studio, I'm not thinking 'can they play this at a soccer stadium during a match,' but it's crazy to see how well they support. I'm super excited about today, and I'm actually a little bit nervous."
Those nerves are nothing a few rounds of Fruit Ninja on the old iPhone can't handle, and Garrix pulled the show off as brilliantly as a DJ could ever a half-time. With only eight minutes of airtime, it's not so much about taking a crowd on a journey as packing in the hits and making them say "ahh."
Not that it's a bad thing. The short show managed to be a spectacle and a half, eliciting a number of awe-moments from on-lookers.
"For this year, it's a much, much bigger production," Solano said, comparing last night's show with the half-time performance LIC delivered in 2013. "We had a lot more lead time. We've been working on this for the last few months, the budget is significantly bigger. We were able to do some really amazing stuff."
They ramped it up with tons more lasers, light-suit men jumping on trampolines, fireworks, on-field ribbon dancers, and the coup de grâce, 3D mapped lighting that covered the field. It was a blinding display of color and explosions backed by Martin Garrix's thumping soundtrack. It's no surprise "Animals" took the grand finale.
Though it was the producer's first time performing with Life in Color, and sadly for him sans paint, he hopes it won't be his last.
"I love the brand, and the nice thing about Life in Color, it sets a great concept. As soon as the spray gets into the crowd, people get crazy," he said. "What you very often notice at parties, not at festivals, but at clubs, people are like 'oh my shoes, my clothes, I have to look good.' Life in Color just ruins it. They spray the paint, people go crazy, and that's the best thing. It doesn't matter how you look, how much paint you have on you, people are there for the music and the paint, that's what makes Life in Color once of the best events to play as a DJ. All my DJ friends love to play it."
Solano said there's no deal to bring Garrix back in time for the December festival just yet, but he didn't rule it out entirely. He wasn't spilling any names just yet, but he does promise one hell of a show.
"We have the best of the best playing Miami," he said. "I can't tell you names yet, but I can tell you that nobody's going to be disappointed. We make it as a personal thing to us to always top it for Miami every year. It's our hometown, so for us, it's so big to have the flagship event of the company here."
Tickets for the two-day Life in Color Miami Festival go on sale Wednesday, Aug.13, via lifeincolor.com.
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