Life in Color Festival: A Brilliant Blast Off in Miami
Every end has a beginning, and every beginning has an end.
That's the kind of cheesy statement you'd expect to find on a bumper sticker or written in the pages of some flowery Chicken Soup bullshit. But it's also the truth.
With its first-ever full-fledged festival, Life in Color underwent a paradigm shift this weekend. And after experiencing a paint blast in a crowd of thousands under the night sky (even if it was pretty much drizzling rain all night), we can't ever go back to those 1000-person paint parties of the past.
Throwing a debut festival can be a daunting task, even for a crew as seasoned as Life in Color.
We've seen a lot of first-timers fall flat. But in this case, the production and presentation was on point. And LIC transformed the Sun Life Stadium parking lot into a dance music mecca.
Two main stages flashed big and bright on either side of the grounds. Snuggled between them stood a smaller local stage, which maintained a decent crowd throughout the night. There was even a smaller locals tent, which admittedly struggled a bit more with all the competition.
Hopefully, next time, the local kids will get a bit more love from the crowd. Maybe they just need more blinky things.
Photo by George Martinez
By far, the best of the blinky things was the Ferris wheel, which gave party people patient enough to wait in line the best view of the LIC landscape.
The zip-line was almost as cool, shooting you high across the gravel lot straight at the brilliant lights of the main stage. We'd love to see more carnival rides in the future. Or maybe weird carnival games with paint.
Walking from stage to stage, we realized that LIC has been destined for this kind of festival setting. Everything was amplified by the open air. The crowds were easier to navigate, the paint was more entertaining, and there was plenty of space to catch some air and take a break. Even a little rain (alright, sometimes a lot of rain) couldn't kill the vibe. It also helps that LIC brings in a lot of young, energetic faces. And once you're covered in paint, who cares about rain and mud anyway?
But we were all there for the music, right? The name of the game was diversity, with a lineup featuring something for everyone as LIC's main stage focused on electro-house vibes and the bass stage kept things heavy.
ETC! ETC! gave the kids fresh moombah vibes with a hard edge. Head Hunterz had them all shuffling to aggressive hardstyle. LIC fave David Solano worked the main stage crowd with a mix of iconic hits and new originals. Dirty Phonics turned it up with heavy electro beats. Excision was the heaviest, grittiest set of the night, making sure that the bass stage lived up to its name. And of course, Calvin Harris made us all feel warm and fuzzy with his nostalgic anthems.
Finally, Major Lazer closed out the night, pushing the 2 a.m. curfew to its limit, as Diplo walked the crowd in his giant bubble and Walshy Fire let loose some sick dancehall rhymes. They invited girlies with bubble butts onto the stage, and even dropped a few brand-new tracks, heavy on the reggae with heavy electro- and hardstyle-influenced drops.
Photo by George Martinez
Our personal favorite was 2 Chainz. Bro really is 2 different, and in the context of a rave festival, a welcome switch-up.
His entire 40-minute set was jam packed with what are essentially half the great songs to hit hip-hop radio in the last couple of years. He did it all, from "Riot," "No Lie," "Birthday Song," "I'm Different," "I Love Dem Strippers," "Where U Been," "Feds Watching," "Used 2," plus a crap-ton of his famed features, and even his old classic verse from Lil Wayne's "Duffle Bag Boy."
The crowd stayed live until the very end. Then we ran for our cars as the rain returned. Paint was everywhere, covering our faces and clothes. And though we could wash it all away in the shower, the feeling remains.
We're looking forward to the next LIC fest. If the beginning was this much fun, we can only imagine how amazing and messy the 2014 paint party is gonna be.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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