In the last year, the Dayglow paint party concept has grown from a staple student party to the international phenomenon we now know as Life in Color. Since its humble inception in 2006 at colleges around Florida, Life in Color has experienced exponential market dominance as the paint party took its talents to global metropolises such as Cancun, Melbourne and London. But the folks at host company Committee Entertainment will never forget their roots, as evidenced by Life in Color’s triumphant return to its hometown of Miami last Friday.
More than 13,000 attendees decked out in white attire flooded the Miami Beach Convention Center on December 29th to splash around in paint and bask in the musical glory of Diplo, Benny Benassi, R3hab and more. Kiddies waited anxiously in line for hours before the 7 p.m. door opening, hoping to score a prime partying spot amidst the boundless dance floor spaces.
The convention center offered two stages, featuring the heavy-hitters on the main stage and the Miami local talent on the side stage. Splitting the venue in half made varying our musical experiences a logistical breeze, with endless opportunities for house, trap, trance and more.
When we weren’t soaking up the womps and beats, we were exploring the amusement-park-esque decor. A giant inflatable “Life in Color” sign greeted us at the entrance of the main room as if to say “You have finally arrived!” Up ahead, the stage towered over our huddled masses, fully equipped with massive visual screens, trampolines, giant paint guns and booming speakers. Acrobatics dangled above the DJ booth, mimicking a Cirque Du Soleil experience and reminded us all that this was no average concert.
The first act at the main stage was Demetrius who laid down his usual dutch house sounds. The young star was soon joined on stage by surprise superstar producer, guest, and father, Timbaland. Although we enjoyed the surprise visit, MC shout outs don’t mesh well with the natural flow of electronic music and by the end of his blabber we were ready for more tunes.
Demetrius was followed by Life in Color resident DJ and local hero David Solano. He started the paint-blast madness countdown with help from costumed-character smurfs pumping up the audience. Solano dropped a personal favorite track, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and the crowd swayed happily to the song’s upbeat vocal drive.
Next up was R3hab who took to the decks as the countdown struck zero and paint blasted into the sea of white outfits. Soaking the first fifty feet with neon slime, attendees either headed for the hills in shock or slithered closer into the splash zone. R3hab played the perfect music for the night’s paint climax, dropping hard-hitting electro bombs which made us all remember why Afrojack took the Dutch DJ under his wing.
After R3hab’s set commenced, electro-veteran Benny Benassi stormed the stage as a simultaneous balloon of paint dropped onto the unsuspecting crowd. Benassi gave us a typical Benassi set, chalk-full of Swedish House favorites and Beatport successes like Nari and Milani’s “Atom” and his own “Satisfaction.” Of course when “Cinema” blared through the speakers the entire room seemed to lift in spirits, signing along with our dear 2012 electro-anthem.
Benassi thanked the crowd and bowed out in order to let the headliner, Diplo, jump on the decks. Electronic music’s infamous playboy and producer extraordinaire, Diplo jumped into his usual moombahton/trap/rap game nonsense. Dropping ghetto-nasty tracks by Waka Flacka and Rick Ross, Diplo got the girls in the audience twerking nonstop as if their lives depended on it. When the moomba-master dropped his sex-charged track “Express Yourself,” the stage was stormed with scantily-clad, booty-bumping ladies shaking what their mama’s gave them. Diplo kept the set’s energy raging all night with Lil John’s classic “Get Low” and Skrillex’s up-tempto banger “Right on Time.”
Soaked in neon goop from head to toe, we slipped and slid our ways to the door, concocting ideas for how to avoid ruining our car upholsteries. Once again, Life in Color proved to be a musical and sensory success and we can’t wait to check out the 2013 West Coast tour. But no matter how big the paint party gets, we proved one thing last Friday - Miami goes hard in the paint!