Over the weekend, RL Grime brought his Void tour to the 305 for a sold-out show at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
An all-ages affair, the crowd skewed so young that the college students in attendance were dignified elders by comparison.
Despite their youth, the revelers dressed impeccably in proper EDM attire: headbands, booty shorts, and tank tops, accented with clashing neon patterns of weed leaves and palm trees. But the smartest accessory of the night was a water bottle.
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Opening act Tommy Kruise played a combination of hip-hop and original compositions to an already packed crowd.
"Miami, you're fucking amazing!" Kruise acknowledged before dropping Rick Ross's "Neighborhood Drug Dealer" to rowdy cheers and raised fists.
Although most of the audience enjoyed themselves on the dance floor, early in Kruise's set an unresponsive girl slumped in the theater seats, becoming the night's first casualty.
Paramedics were on hand from the outset, tending to the ravages of intoxicants and seismic bass.
Those still standing were treated to an eventful set from Mad Decent's Djemba Djemba.
Spinning dance like Duck Sauce alongside rap like YG, the DJ was beset by some early technical difficulties when the sound cut out. "I just killed the system, yo!" he joked amid awkward silence.
But refusing to allow their night to be ruined by tech failure, the crowd continued singing along until the music resumed, bouncing with newfound energy as Djemba exhorted, "Everyone, put your fuckin' hands up!"
Later in the set, Djemba brought out Florida rappers Bukkweat Bill and ikabodVEINS to perform "666FOREVER" and "Elroy Jetson," a fitting pairing for a night that gave equal shine to EDM and hip-hop.
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Before RL Grime appeared, the Fillmore's curtains opened to reveal a tombstone-shaped light pulsating at the center of his console.
As smoke machines filled the stage with eerie fog, Grime walked out to the waning notes of "Let Go," a foreboding instrumental similar to Giorgio Moroder's Scarface theme.
Grime capitalized on the anticipation by dropping "Scylla" from his debut album, Void, sending the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy that never relented.
By now, the show was a lot like a peaceful hardcore show. Young men barely out of middle school tore off their shirts while girls stripped down to their bras, and everyone threw elbows on the dance floor.
Although it occasionally resembled a youth rally in the name of BPMs, we were struck by how the audience approached the show as a personalized, egalitarian experience.
Turning their back to the DJ, friends danced in groups, took selfies, greeted acquaintances spotted in the crowd, and gossiped about who was vomiting in the trash can.
As much as the crowd enjoyed Grime's originals, the biggest reactions were reserved for the familiar likes of "A Milli" and "Drop It Like It's Hot." In many ways, Grime was on equal standing with the audience, less a performer to be worshipped from afar than the facilitator of a night of fun.
Later, Grime returned to the Fillmore's stage for an encore, but much of the crowd was already trickling out of the auditorium to beat traffic, certain to have stories to tell their classmates on Monday.
-- Sam Eaton
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