Mad Decent Block Party with Major Lazer, Riff Raff, Zeds Dead - Revolution, Fort Lauderdale - August 3
Mad Decent Block Party
With Major Lazer, Zeds Dead, Riff Raff, Robb Bank$, and others.
Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale
August 3, 2013
As two o'clock approached this past Saturday, a black sky pressed down on downtown Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of half-naked youths swarmed the downtown area, readying themselves for the annual Mad Decent Block Party. They caused traffic to slow and then halt as they crossed Broward Boulevard by the neon dozen.
The party people wrapped themselves around the fenced-in lot that belongs to Revolution Live, snaking back down SW Second Avenue and around the block that makes up the infamous Himmarshee Village. A couple of gray-haired locals headed to a quiet lunch on Las Olas might have wondered if the end-days had finally arrived.
By three in the afternoon, a continuous rain fell, neither a spitting drizzle nor downpour. Somewhere in the far distance it thundered as the queue inched its way forward. From the street outside, you could already see an occasional body surfing over a crowd of hands raised into the air.
The windows of our car rattled as we desperately sought a place to park. The Block Party drew us in, like mosquitos to the light on a dank evening in the swamp. On the sidewalk just outside Revolution, vaporous clouds of cigarette smoke lingered underneath the awnings that provided shelter for those who still had yet to make it beyond the entrance gates into the mini-music festival. Their expressions were unfazed, their ass cheeks hanging out of metallic booty shorts.
The crowd in front of the main stage, which had been erected in the venue's parking lot, was already dense and radiating with the energy of a thousand young, damp bodies. Healthy lines formed at the Heineken and barbeque tents. Shirtless boys in baggy shorts and baseball caps stomped through puddles, working their arms as in ceremonial dance.
Miami's DJ DZA -- a relative newcomer to the Mad Decent label family and later addition to the Block Party lineup -- was up on deck. He brought a tasty set of bass-heavy hip-hop to the stage, something akin to what you'd hear at the incredibly popular weekly party he helped launch at Grand Central Miami, Peachfuzz.
Those seeking drier ground flocked to the cool darkness of Revolution's inside, where bartenders in full rave gear served up more drinks and a smaller but growing crowd danced to music that changed gears from Hot Chip to Benny Bennassi. There was only one set of indoor restrooms open to the public on the second level. And while the bottleneck effect made getting upstairs each time a mission, the crowd remained for the most part conscientious, with the risk of so many people on the slippery floors being impossible to ignore.
By 4:30, the EDM was in full swing outside. Atlanta's HeRobust had taken the stage, his bouncy, screeching dubstep taking the energy level of the crowd up a few notches. Girls in matching crowns of flowers were smiling, licking their lips, and grinding their jaws as they danced. One guy in the crowd allowed his expression to turn sour after his full beer was knocked to the ground, but only for a moment. The regret passed, his smile returned, and he promptly returned to dancing. Three hours in, spirits remained high.
Next up, Houston whiteboy-rapper and bizarro social media maven Riff Raff, otherwise known as Jody Highroller, took the stage to massive cheers from the crowd as he showered the front row with champagne. Dressed head-to-toe in Neff gear and a neon windbreaker, Riff let his long hair down for this show. His voluminous blond locks floated in the breeze as he bounded from one side of the stage to the other.