Miami's most sacred nights include Wing It Wednesday at Flanigan’s, Saturday at Club Space, Sunday at Nikki Beach 15 years ago, and the latest greatest: Laser Fridays at the new and improved Frost Museum of Science. Crisp treble and deep bass tunes are paired with searing lasers the first and third Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to midnight. The formats range from Depeche Mode to Pink Floyd to Bob Marley to electronic dance music. The EDM-centric shows are set to begin in August and resemble Ultra Music Festival’s main-stage lineup, including music from Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Major Laser, Ferry Corsten, Prodigy, the late Avicii, and others. Aside from Milam’s Market, no place in Miami is safe from EDM.
And the planetarium is the genre’s latest conquest.
What do California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have in common? They’re home to some of the world's finest planetariums, and people there come out in droves for laser shows. Jay Heck is co-owner and creative director of Laser Fantasy, a Seattle-based company that specializes in planetarium laser shows. Laser Fantasy produces the hardware and programming used at Frost Science and all over the globe.
“Going to laser shows is a rite of passage for youth in places like Seattle, Portland, and L.A. They’re too young for the bars and too old to stay at home. Laser nights at planetariums are a fun night out,” Heck says. “And Miami’s new planetarium is one of the best. If we’re talking strictly lasers, Seattle probably has the best laser show in America. They have ten laser projectors, and Miami is right there with seven. No doubt Miami has an upper-echelon laser show for sure. You have to see it to believe it — the colors are so rich and vibrant.”
The idea of combining Led Zeppelin and lasers in a planetarium was created by Ivan Dryer in the '70s at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The Rolling Stones and other programs followed. In 2012, Heck’s team created a Skrillex show, then Deadmau5, and then Daft Punk. The EDM show set to debut in August is the latest from Laser Fantasy.
“I’m in my 40s and like rock music, but we kept getting requests for EDM, so we went with it,” he adds.
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Like many Miami events, Laser Fridays offer a full bar, along with small bites and munchies. Frost Science spokesperson Joseph Quiñones says Laser Fridays have a unique buzz. “We couldn’t offer drinks and food at our previous location, but we can now, and there’s more energy at Laser Friday shows," he says. "It feels more like a party.”
Laser Fridays EDM set list:
“This Is What You Came For,” Calvin Harris
“Animal Rights,” Deadmau5
“Cold Water,” Major Lazer
“Move for Me,” Kaskade & Deadmau5
“Adagio for Strings,” Ferry Corsten
“The Veldt,” Deadmau5
“If I Lose Myself,” One Republic & Alesso
“Closer,” The Chainsmokers
“Busy Child,” Crystal Method
Laser Fridays EDM Shows. 9 p.m. Friday, August 3, and 8 p.m. Friday, August 17, at Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-434-9600; frostscience.org. Tickets cost $8 to $10 via tickets.frostscience.org.