Steve Angello and Size Records' #Decade
RC Cola Plant, Wynwood, Miami
Thursday, March 27, 2012
Size Records is ten years old. And for its tin anniversary, former Swedish House Mafia member and label boss Steve Angello did what any dance music powerhouse might do -- throw a fuckin' rager in Miami.
But this just wasn't any silly party at some hotel or nightclub. Instead, Angello took over one of the city's most iconic landmarks, the long-abandoned RC Cola Plant, which is sort of Miami's answer to New York's now-gone 5 Pointz. It's a setting that you could see being regularly used for raves in a more anything-goes city like Berlin.
And while a bill that included Angello, Thomas Gold, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, AN21 & Max Vangeli, and more is nothing to scoff at, as a Miamian, I was excited to finally get inside this usually off-limits Wynwood locale.
The layout of the plant is pretty simple, with the former factory sitting on the far east side of the compound and the vast open lot (where the massive stage and crowd area was situated) taking up the rest of the property. We imagine, at one point, this is where RC Cola trucks were parked and then filled with fizzy product for delivery.
Could this get any better? Yes! When we went to the bar and ordered a whiskey and Coke, we were served the only cola product available -- RC Cola! As you can tell, I'm a person who enjoys the simple things in life.
I arrived a little before 9 p.m. to catch Thomas Gold halfway through his set. And there was plenty to look at, including a massive LED panel setup that consumed one's entire field of vision. I can only describe it as Ultra-level quality. (Not surprising, since Ultra kind of had a hand in the #Decade party, billing it as a "Road to Ultra" event.)
Gold's energy was pretty much sending every raver in sight into a tizzy, and we really had no complaints -- until it happened. Why do DJs think its awesome to drop Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the middle of a set? I just can't imagine that Kurt Cobain would be OK with it either. This was a man who hated the spotlight and he probably would've puked hearing the Nirvana anthem used as a tool to rev up the EDM masses.
Sorry to call Gold out, because he's definitely not the only offender.
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Up next was Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, who played against graphics reminiscent of the work of street artist Ryan McGinness (see his glow-in-the-dark mural in Wynwood Walls), which seemed appropriate given the setting. James and Marciano kept it fun and energetic, even when venturing into relative minimalism.
Undoubtably, the highlight of their set was when they dropped Calvin Harris' rework of Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr's "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat." If anyone was living that motto at the moment, it was the crowd at Decade.
Somewhere in the middle in the set, however, it seemed as though there was a system failure because the screens went black and everything went silent. James and Marciano took it stride, making the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" and eventually picking things up right where they left off. It was nice seeing them handle the situation well and not lose their cool.
But the man of the hour was definitely Steve Angello, who Americans probably know best as one-third of the former DJ supergroup Swedish House Mafia. (In fact, we probably saw more SHM apparel last night than at many of the countless Masquerade Motel events in Miami.)
To kick off his set, the massive LED screen went black as Willow-pattern ceramic knuckles appeared, with the letters "S-A." (Question: Where can I get a some ceramic knuckles? Because I want.) Then a quick snippet of Robin S.'s "Show Me Love" instructed the crowd what to do.
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"Thank you, Miami!" shouted Angello, reminding everyone that we were here to celebrate a #Decade of Size Records. The graphics flashed cover art from Size's catalog while smoke and pyrotechnics flooded the plant. Later, several booms shot pounds of confetti out over the crowd. It was basically a ticker-tape parade for Angello and his legacy.
Who needs to be part of a mafia when you've got ten years under your belt.
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