Story Nightclub, South Beach
Friday, January 18, 2013
If LIV is among the world's premiere locations for high-profile socializing and progressive house, then SoBe's new hotspot Story Nightclub is Miami Marketing Group's answer to a bottle-service "alternative." As much as a club with a strict dress-code can be "alt."
Inside, Story's impressive layout comes off a bit "edgier" in its design than LIV's sleek look. You can smoke inside Story, which is pretty uncommon for South Beach. And so far, the bookings have come with a bit more bite.
Like Friday night, when Wolfgang Gartner laid waste to the place.
He took over the stage at about 1:30 a.m. under flashing blue and white lights. Standing solo behind the decks, surrounded by ambient atmosphere and dancing shadows in the VIP, Gartner threw his arms up and air piano-ed the first rising melodies.
Wolfgang started his set off smooth with a hint of disco, getting the crowd ready for what would be a straight shot to an energetic climax. The intimate dance floor at Story is surrounded on every side by tables while stairs at the back of the club lead to the second and third floors, with more tables and more bars.
The walls are covered in geometric patterns lined with bright LEDs, much like the pillars dividing the floor from the side bars. The whole thing has a kind of alien look to it. But the pièce de résistance is absolutely the cascading light bubbles that hang elegantly above the heads of party-goers, blinking along with the beat.
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Gartner amped up the mood a bit, running through a tight remix of Justice's "Civilization." Dancers in small black bras and panties accessorized with head scarves and sunglasses danced on top of either side of his booth, as well as by the stairs and in the VIP. Even the dancers seemed edgier than their LIV counterparts, as though they might bite your head off if you looked at them funny, but in a sexy kind of bitch way.
Known for his edge and prowess behind behind the decks, Wolfgang didn't take it easy on the bottle-service crowd at all. He went all-in, looping and wrecking his tracks almost beyond recognition, hitting the filters and glitching out everything for ultimate insanity. He's the father of what the young kids call "complextro," a fidgety brand of hard electro that bleeps and bloops like a robot on the fritz with a serious funky side.
He dropped some hard numbers like "Spacejunk" and "Ai Novinha" by Miami's own GTA. He also kept a fun hip-hop theme running throughout his set, mixing in classic hype tracks like Fatman Scoop's "Be Faithful (Put Yo Hands Up)" and old dance hits like "Show Me Love."
He was loving it, constantly jumping up and playing that damn air piano. The crowd sent some love right back at him, clapping, whistling, and getting crunk for this fancy button-up shirt kind of party.
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Wolfgang worked through his hits "Nuke" and "illmerica" to thunderous applause. By 3 a.m., some more room had cleared on the dance floor, littered by glow wands, cigarette butts, and wet confetti. He dropped another Gartner classic, his collab with Skrillex called "Devil's Den." Then he unleashed some more hip-hop flavor with Naughty By Nature samples, making everyone say, "Hey, ho!" and wave their hands.
The place was going ape when he let the music die down at about 3:30 and gave the throat-cut sign. Someone whispered in his ear as the crowd roared, then he mouthed to words, "one more."
He brought the music back up for a killer ending and made way for the closing DJ. Smoke filled the room and we made our way toward the exit, still dancing, already looking forward to our next night at Story.