Here's the thing: once you attend the Main Event at Black and Blue
in Montreal, you're totally corrupted for any convention
center/stadium event thereafter.
And yet, having said that, last night at the Miami Beach Convention
Center with Victor Calderone at the helm brought back the best of
this past October's Main Event, and did not, by any stretch, suffer
There really was a pyramid, of scaffolding and scrims and lights and
speakers, and there were huge illuminated columns decorated with
hieroglyphics, while green lasers made hieroglypics dance around the
walls, and there was a VIP oasis with palms, and the stage opposite
Victor's throne was vast and deep and so if you squinted and let go
of disbelief, you definitely went to ancient Egypt.
Arriving just before one a.m., we were a little concerned that
Victor might not have made it home from his tour of LA, but not to
worry, for the gong sounded, or some such, and the crowd moved
toward the stage where the curtains parted to reveal Lamya atop a
platform, and she came down to sing "Empires (Bring Me Men)" with
about a dozen Egyptian slaves and King Tuts and sun gods, and her
banging on her drums.
And then, the voice intoned: Ladies and gentleman, Victor Calderone.
And we were all off and running.
For the next five hours of our Egyptian sojourn, Victor created this
aural landscape that somehow complemented the Egyptian motif with
this kind of Lord of the Rings: Two Towers roiling and boiling
pulsing beat, Frodo and crew in the pursuit of MiddleEarth's
salvation. An ongoing growling and roaring that was heightened by
the weirdly resonant acoustics of the center. Our favorite
perspective, apart from the floor, was sitting on the bleachers (on
padded chairs, no less), at a kind distance from the whole scene and
being able to take it all in with a panoramic glance: not unlike one
of those aerial shots in Two Towers where there's so much action
going on that you're overwhelmed by activity.
How can you capture this in words? You can't, not really. It's so
much about the energy of the moment, and sinking into it to let it
happen all around you.
There was a second show, with a huge lighted beastial and plasmic
apparition processing on a chaise longue, all the way from Victor's
platform, parting the crowd, and up to the stage where the curtains
opened again -- to reveal Power emerging from between two
And then an incredible production number, the high point, literally,
of which was Power levitating above the stage in full lotus
And then another number, an hour or so later, done to "I'm the
Master, You're the Slave" (or something like that, help me...),
during which dominatrices whipped their men into shape. The men in
briefs strapped to white canvases.
And here, I'd just like to go on record and say that when I see
production numbers like these, they are in no way at all a deterrent
to the energy within the crowd, nor do they, in my opinion, hinder
the flow of a party. Instead, it seems to me that production numbers
like the ones we saw last night at Miami 2003 exemplify the kind of
energy all of us as individual dancers are attempting to radiate
when we move on the floor. Those dancers onstage work, and inspire,
and I, for one, am grateful for their infusion of energy.
And Victor, master that he is, made these production numbers an
integral part of his aural landscape, so that the beat that he laid
down flowed naturally onto and off the stage.
It was a happy crowd, and we were lucky enough to see no fall-outs,
and instead, what we saw was a crowd of very pretty people partying
seriously, but not blindly. Unlike New Year's Eve's reputation as a
night for amateurs, this crowd seemed professional: people who know
how to enjoy Victor's music and Jeffrey Sanker's productions.
Our favorite line of the night: seeing a friend in fiercely tight
plaid pants (it's all about the pants), we offered him praise, to
which he said, "Fucking girlie pants. I've got everything stuffed in
Interestingly, we went with two Danish friends who didn't "get " the
whole thing, and they left around four, and their departure caused
us to consider again all that was around us, and what it was we so
enjoy about these affairs.
The answer we came up with: it's all about the music, and giving in
to its power.
And when it's handed to you on such a silver platter as last night's
exemplary affair (swag was everywhere, from the red blinking Bacardi
magnets and pins and keychains and hats, to boxes of sunglasses upon
our departure -- so thoughtful), there's no way we can resist.
Here's hoping everyone else enjoyed the night as much as we did, and
that 2003 becomes the year when music assuages our differences and
reminds us of our similarities.