Opulence is the exact word to describe the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
The 60-year-old institution is one of the most historically and architecturally significant hotels in Miami.
Home to the ever-lavish megaclub LIV, this decadent playground capped off its 2014 with a performance from R&B visionary The Weeknd and a closing DJ set by the Nervo twins.
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The Weeknd emerged to a packed dance floor at 11:30 p.m. on the dot, launching into his most recent lady-killing single, "Often." His voice was like velvet to the ears, and any woman within earshot instantly started screaming, cheering, dancing.
He also played hit collaborations like "Or Nah" with Ty Dolla $ign, "Remember Me" with Wiz Khalifa, and even "Love Me Harder" with Ariana Grande. The icing on this cake of collabos was "Crew Love," the cut he did with fellow Torontonian and OVO don, Drake.
"Where are all my day-one Weeknd fans? I'm about to bring it back," Abel said with a crowd-controlling swagger that's entirely different from his demeanor during a 2013 show at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
The once-timid Abel Tesfaye from two years ago did not ring in the New Year at the 'Bleau last night.
That Weeknd and this Weeknd are not the same.
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Abel powered through his set, which included "High for This," "Wicked Games," and "Glass Table Girls," all hits from his very first release, House of Balloons.
So yes, everything was already pretty fantastic. But the fans absolutely lost their minds when he started singing, "I woke up like this, I woke up like this." His reimagining of Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" was the final beautiful blow in what was a perfect New Year's Eve set from the Toronto native. We were stunned.
Nervo followed the Weeknd in the way that Nervo would follow most things, with typical bottle-crowd pandering and subpar EDM set that basically mixed the Beatport Top 10 and radio-friendly dance tunes. Throughout the night, between the twins and the opening DJs, we must have heard "Stay the Night" by Zedd at least ten times.
They pumped their fists, raised their hands, hyped the crowd, and showed off their primped and polished model looks.
"Miami!" the twins would interject every so often. "Happy New Year! Let's bring it in right."
The people-watching was truly gratifying. But there was nothing exceptionally musical about Nervo's performance.
It's hard to believe that in a two-hour, festival-ready set, they failed to elicit the type of response the Weeknd could with a 30-minute quickie. The crowd, of course, enjoyed the jams, dancing with drinks in hand to pretty much any song you'd hear in a late-night Y100 mix.
Essentially, it was just like any other big-room DJ in a big bottle-crowd club.
Nevertheless, in terms of welcoming 2015, we'd say everyone at the 'Bleau started his or her year on a high note.
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Hard to beat being serenaded, poolside, by one of the most meteoric and talented acts in R&B at a behemoth of a hotel like the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
-- Steve Vaynshtok
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