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Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel Miami 2012: A 76-Photo Recap

Masquerade Motel Miami
Grand Central Park
Friday, March 23, 2012

Better Than: Rollin' balls inside a Vicks vapor room with a stolen subwoofer.

Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel sent so much bass rumbling through Grand Central Park that you could feel it from your toes to your fingers and nose.

It was heavy. It was loud. And it banged harder than an orgy.

The gates opened at 3 p.m. and the most fervent members of the 10,000-person crowd started showing up around then.

Security kept an eye on things as beat freaks assembled in the streets.

They came by bus, rail, car, foot, board, and bike. They stood outside waiting for friends, bought scalper tickets, and eventually jumped in line, eager to check into the Masquerade Motel.

A lot of dudes wore these pants...

Some people got lost on the way to Ultra and went to the wrong place. They had to turn around and walk their ass to Bayfront.

Big shout out to Rephlektor Inkorporated's Justin Kleinfeld for hooking up the access and making sure we got into the party.

By 5:30 or so, the park was nearly full.

Alesso was on the decks, spinning a mix of popular music and pure beats that resonated with the mostly young crowd.

The raised and tented VIP area, Room 101, was already stocked with models, bottles, and expensive drinkers.

Meanwhile in Swedish Mafialand...

The crowd was hungry for the party. The music kept them hyped.

There were more hands in the air than camera phones and people styled hard everywhere you looked.

The crowd: A split between tourists, locals, and tourists who've been here so many times they think they're locals.

There was ass everywhere.

And lots of naked flesh.

And everyone kept dancing.

Some brought fros.

But everyone came to have a good time.

Even on the side of the stage.

This chick even made her own headgear.

And there was plenty of pussy.

And other wild animals too.

There were plenty of bars that stayed mobbed the whole time, but it never took long to get a drink.

Gastropod and Ms Cheezious food trucks were there keeping everybody fed.

The good life was in full effect.

And with plenty to write home about.

Wherever home may be...

Like a beat freak nirvana.

There were miracles.

And earplugs.

These guys too.

Then Calvin Harris hit the stage and kept the bodies moving with the driving force of his beats and track selection.

These girls raised the roof.

And she whipped her hair.

This guy did the giraffe head.

There were Masquerade Motel clerks in every corner of the venue. Even all the way in the back.

And as the sun went down, that's when the love began to flow.

By this time, the front of the stage was breezy with weed smoke and menthol from all the Vicks. And then the office buildings at the Overtown Metro Rail complex lit up with these masks.

The only thing that could have made the show better would have been a live DJ between sets instead of canned elevator music. They wouldn't have to set them up on the main stage. It was boring for about 20 minutes at a time. But people found ways to entertain themselves.

Then a movie started running on the screen in front of the stage and people got excited for the big headliners. Swedish House Mafia was ready.

Steve Angello, Axwell, and Sebastian Ingrosso dropped a huge beat and said hello to Miami.

The bass was so intense it made your skull shake. People screamed. They yelled. They bounced. They rocked. They jumped. They shook. They fist-pumped and threw their hands in the air.

Then SHM broke the beat down, built it back up, and dropped it all over again.

And again.

Cool vapors washed over the people with lasers, fireworks, smoke, and more visual spectacle than the greatest show on Earth.

Let's just say the people loved it. They all saw Molly dancing in the moonlight.

They were even ridin' with the beat at the Rail station. And then they rode it all the way home.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Rich and poor, young and old, foreign, local, drunk, stoned, rolling, and sober. All music lovers.

Set List: Who cares? The people danced all night and sang along when they knew the words. Swedish House Mafia did drop a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers record to round out the set, though.

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