Art Basel Miami Beach

Ssion Causes Total Pool Panic at Shore Club for Pulse Miami Art Fair Afterparty

If you mix alcohol, dancing and a queer pop collective with a fancy hotel and a pool, you're probably going to end up pissing off security.

Over the weekend, the Ssion crew set up at the Shore Club for the Pulse Miami Art Fair afterparty, delivering a set that included star cameos, cracked voices, impromptu splish splashing.

And yeah, pissed-off security guards.

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Ssion mastermind Cody Critcheloe and crew has a vibe so perfectly suited for Art Basel Miami Beach week parties that it's a surprise they aren't here ever year.

In fact, we maybe tweeted at them a few months ago when Critcheloe and Ssion unveiled their recent slew of Miami-less tour dates. We wrote that they should at least find someone to fly them down to play a party for the event. The band's live shows are legendary, and I was excited when Pulse ended up making my drunk tweet into a reality.

Though, my greatest expectations were stymied by the fact the band took to a stage directly overlooking the Shore Club's massive pool. It's not the greatest set up to see any band, but it does practically demand that people fully dressed in their nicest clothes end up going for a trip in that pool.

After opening with a cover of Hole's "Credit in the Straight World" and running through a few original favorites, Critcheloe, dressed in sharp primary colors, implied that someone should take a dip. A few fans complied ("YOLO," as they say), which didn't sit too well with the hotel's security. At least, though, the dudes in black suits weren't trying to be be too big of bummers while doing their duty. Critcheloe started dancing up on a security guard. He smiled gamely, and did a Richard Nixon double peace sign for the crowd.

After everyone was initially cleared from the pool, a guy standing behind me stripped down to his underwear, taking a dive. And every few songs, someone new jumped in the pool.

About halfway through the show, Critcheloe was joined on stage by Chez Deep drag goddesses Colin Self and Alexis Blair Penney to sing backup. Then, on the final song, "Blonde With U," Casey Spooner jumped on stage to perform in a way that you weren't sure if it was planned or he just happened to be there.

It maybe wasn't the Ssion performance of my dreams (Critcheloe was singing with a noticeably hoarse voice), but the surreality of this week's whole art hotel pool nighttime party schtick certainly made it memorable.

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Kyle Munzenrieder