The Ten Craziest Concerts Ever at Cafe Iguana Pines

Future nearly shut the place down.
Future nearly shut the place down.
Courtesy of Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

One of South Florida's hottest hip-hop and Latin venues is an odd little joint known as Cafe Iguana Pines that has been giving people a reason to commute to Pembroke Pines for years. After some pricy remodeling over five years ago, the nightclub suddenly began to attract top-tier artists like Future, NE-YO, Daddy Yankee, and more.

“It definitely puts our name out there more,” says Kurt Weller, who serves as the club’s operation manager. “The artists make us an attraction and bring more attention to what we’re doing here in Pembroke Pines. You’ll see Chris Brown at every club, but you won’t see Usher at every club.”

Cafe Iguana Pines attracts a wide range of clientele with themed events throughout the week, from #TouchTheMicTuesdays to #BFFFridays featuring 99 JAMZ (WEDR-FM) hosts DJ Nailz and DJ Nasty. The club often switches up the flow on Wednesday and Saturday nights for Latin and international music.

Chad Thomas, one of several lead promoters, and marketing director Abebe Lewis started off by curating karaoke events every Tuesday at the club nearly six years ago. Eventually they began to bring in R&B legends like Tank, Ne-Yo, and the most recent headliner, "Permission" singer Ro James, to bless the stage. Thanks to their bountiful relationships within the music industry, both Thomas and Lewis have been able to attract rising hip-hop and R&B artists while bringing in capacity crowds. 

“Chad and I worked together doing major concerts at James L. Knight Center,” Lewis explains. “So that opens us up to the whole realm to be able to get a better relationship with these guys to do the clubs. Cafe Iguana is a unique club that can hold a capacity of 3,000. It’s almost like a concert hall more than a club, so it takes a whole lot to fill that club.”

Up-and-coming locals like Ball Greezy, Brisco, and Freebandz rapper Zoey Dollaz also garnered new fans by performing at #TouchTheMicTuesdays, a night where rising artists have the opportunity to open for some of the best acts in the industry.

“It was really about helping them out,” Thomas says.

Cafe Iguana Pines wants to continue to bring in the heavyweight champs of hip-hop, but for now, let's take a look back at some of the venue's craziest bookings. 

10. Rich Homie Quan & DeJ Loaf

Rich Homie Quan infiltrated Cafe Iguana Pines before the end of 2015 along with “Try Me” rapper DeJ Loaf. Although she couldn’t fully deliver a grand performance because she was sick, Loaf did the best she could to perform songs like “Back Up." Afterward, Rich Homie Quan kept the show hype by performing his well-known tracks like “Flex” and “They Don’t Know.”

9. Tego Calderon

Late last year, reggaeton legend Tego Calderon took over Cafe Iguana Pines as the star of its weekly #InternationalSaturdays event. The Puerto Rican native filled the club with die-hard fans and, of course, Team Hennessy (the event's sponsor). As the crowd echoed his name throughout the hallways of the club, Tego busted out his classic hits like “Punte y Aparte” and “Pa' Que Retozen.”

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8. NE-YO

Not long ago, singer/songwriter NE-YO found solace in Miami when he came to town to record new music. While he was in South Florida, the crooner wanted to do something different at a club outside the typical South Beach venues. He drove way out to Pembroke Pines, and with no beach in sight, churned out club records like his Pitbull-assisted “Give Me Everything” and “Closer."

7. Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee can easily sell out stadiums during his tours across the world, so you can imagine what it looked like inside Cafe Iguana for his major show in 2013. Both floors of the club were jam-packed to capacity, but that didn’t stop loyal fans from enjoying his epic performance. As bottle girls marched out Hennessy like ants collecting crumbs, the “Machucando” rapper put on one hell of a show at the stage in front of the VIP section.

6. Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, & DJ Khaled

Last year, Cafe Iguana Pines gave LIV a run for its money when Meek Mill invaded the club one Sunday. “That was a monumental night” Lewis told us. “Every table was sold out that night.” Before the MMG rapper’s legal woes imploded, Meek held a major concert at the club and brought superstar guests like DJ Khaled and his wifey Nicki Minaj. Other major guests like Trick Daddy, boxer Adrien Broner, and Dre of Cool & Dre were scattered throughout the VIP section all night. 


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