MIAMI — With over 200 DJs vying for the attention of close to 100,000 people in attendance this Saturday at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, in the end it was an Italian Stallion, the holy trinity of Swedish dance music and a guy who dons the mask of a fallen mouse that reigned supreme. Yes, on the second and final day of UMF, held at Miami's Bicentennial Park and coinciding with the city's Winter Music Conference, fans were treated to a healthy dose of dance music talent.
British techno and house DJ Carl Cox closed out the night at the Carl Cox & Friends arena. Producer Paul Oakenfold, and Above and Beyond closed out action at the UMF Brazil Arena. But of course, the Ultra Main stage is where most gathered.
Italian house DJ Benny Benassi hit the stage in the early evening with a series of hair-raising, relentless party anthems that had the audience in a frenzy for almost the entire set. Along with an excellent remix of Jimmy Hendrix's "Purple Haze," the Grammy-winning DJ/producer spun his 2002 club hit "Satisfaction" and "Electro Sixteen." More notably, singer Kelis, who has worked with Benny on her upcoming Flesh Tone album, wore a metallic silver face mask and silver lace-up boots as she joined Benassi onstage for their collaboration "Spaceship" and the David Guetta-produced "Acapella."
And then came the trio of Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Steve Angello — billed together as the all-star Swedish House Mafia. They're known for their dramatic thumping performances, and this one certainly fell in line with what fans have come to expect. SHM had the crowd jumping with Sebastian Ingrosso's hit "Kidsos," based on MGMT's "Kids," and then came "Meich Clocks," the Ingrosso mash-up using Coldplay's "Clocks." Supermode's (an Axwell/Angello group) "Tell Me Why" was also rabidly received. Of course, the highlight was their yet-unnamed new single, a mix of eerie atmosphere and euphoric resolution that had fans begging for more.
And certainly no one was prepared for