For the most part, 2015 was a really great year in Miami music. We saw locals conquer during another successful III Points. We saw the rise of the Olympia Theater through stellar performances by Kraftwerk, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, and more. We were visited by some of the biggest acts in the world and even some of the best up-and-comers, proving that the days of this southernmost city being overlooked by touring groups may be over.
But every year is made of ups and downs, and while there was a lot to celebrate in 2015, there was also a lot of shit that sucked. People died, institutions fell, and some characters were downright cringe-worthy. Here are some of this year's moments in Miami music we could have gone without.
7. The closing of Mansion.
We poked a lot of fun at the South Beach megaclub over the years. It was asking for it when management kicked legends like DJ Shadow and Dennis Ferrer off the decks for being “too future” and not playing enough “commercial” hits. Still, we weren't hoping to see the place close down entirely, which is exactly what it did in September. It's since reopened as Icon Miami, but there are surely some sunburnt European tourists still walking the streets of South Beach, asking anyone who will
6. People who insisted on rapping and singing at the Revolt Music Conference.
5. When everyone kept canceling Miami shows.
Remember when D'Angelo dropped that incredible comeback album and your private parts exploded? Remember when you hurriedly bought a ticket to catch the crooner at the Fillmore Miami Beach and your soul hit a high note? Remember the horrible pit of darkness and despair it took two weeks to climb out of when you heard the show was
4. Saying goodbye to Grand Central.
It's one thing to close a club and reopen the structure with better intentions. It's another thing entirely to tear down one of the best and only midsized venues in the city because developers would rather stick a parking garage in its place. Grand Central gave this city five years of unthinkable music and unforgettable, sweaty dance moments. It gave us reunions from rock legends, unscripted rap realness, and #RealDJing. Then it gave us the bad news, and it did it suddenly. It announced its end with only a few weeks' notice, and now, it crumbles before our eyes. Where will bands play that are yet too small for the Fillmore but too big for everywhere else? Only time will tell, but that World Center better be fucking worth it. We fear it will not.
3. Everything Stitches did.
When “Brick in Yo Face” first graced Miami's ears, we were pretty excited. Who was this wild man with the terrible face tattoos? Why was he screaming? Would we ever love anything as much as he loved selling blow? It was catchy and shocking, and then Miami New Times dug a little deeper. We haven't been on great terms since, and his star's luster has begun to fade. All year, he's grasped at relevancy in strange ways. He announced he beat cancer. He was wrongly pronounced dead by some people. He started a bunch of strange
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2. The death of Alex Omes.
The dance world was shocked when the 43-year-old Ultra Music Festival
1. Tragedy aboard Mad Decent Boat Party.
Sometimes it feels like every asshole with a music project has his own festival cruise, and Diplo is one of those said assholes. His label's Mad Decent Boat Party set off on a second-annual voyage with a special destination in Mexico, but it never got there. In one of the saddest musical moments of the year, a woman allegedly jumped — voluntarily, according to reports — from the giant cruisers deck at sunset. She was never found. The Boat Party abruptly turned around and came home, not that the party stopped onboard. That's supposed to be uplifting or something, but it sounds kind of weird to us. Critics ponder the fate of future music cruises, but more than anything, we feel for the friends and family of that woman.