Ultra Music Festival - Photos and Video From Day Two
My generation was much more violent. We would slam dance and stage dive when we were being friendly. And do much worse when we weren’t.
Our musical festival was Lollapalooza, billed by promoters as the Woodstock of the 90s. Only nobody was preaching peace and love back then.
We would jam to songs about murdering cops and whacking rivals and overthrowing governments, which is about as political as we would get.
We were Generation X. The slacker generation; a beer-swigging, pot-smoking – and at least in Miami - gun-toting generation of cynical misfits.
Ecstasy and electronic music were still underground. And cocaine and free-style were passé.
We were the generation that shattered the walls that had divided rap and rock throughout most of the 1980s.
In the two Lollapaloozas I attended in the early 1990s, we rapped to Ice T and Ice Cube and rocked to Pearl Jam and Nirvana and raged with Rage Against the Machine and moshed to the Beastie Boys.
I couldn’t help but think of those concerts as I attended the Ultra Music Festival in Miami’s Bicentennial Park last weekend, the same grounds where Lollapalooza used to be held.
For the most part, it didn’t look much different. Just thousands of youngsters having a good time in a sweat-infused orgy of musical brashness.
But the beer lines were shorter. And the lines for bottled water were longer, indicating that this generation prefers Ecstasy over alcohol, which is probably why you don’t see any moshing or stage-diving.
Or not a single fight, for that matter. That wasn’t the case back in the day.
In fact, there seemed to be plenty of love in the air. Or at least people caressing each other (and to think they called us Generation X).
And the music? Perhaps it sounds better on Ecstasy. For an old-school fogie like me, it did sound better after a few beers.
In fact, I found myself dancing to the Swedish House Mafia and Carl Cox. And I did enjoy Miami’s very own Afrobeta, but I always do because they put soul into their music.
But I’ve never been a fan of electronic music. I just always thought of it as too monotonous and not enough heart-felt passion.
And I could never get used to the concept of some DJ gaining rock star status for pushing a few buttons. But that just shows my age.
The truth is, even if you don’t like electronic music, and even if you don’t understand electronic music, you must respect electronic music.
More than 2 million people attended the two-day music festival with hundreds more stranded outside without tickets. Of course they didn’t think of storming the gates as we did during one Lollapalooza. They just don’t have that edge.
The music is so popular that they are adding a third day to next year’s Ultra Music Festival.
And even though I am still not an electronic music convert, I hope I’m able to cover it again next year.
After all, just because I’m a little older these days, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good party.
Photos and video by Carlos Miller
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"Ultra Music Festival - Photos and Video From Day Two"