If the Shelborne day party yesterday was populist, Nikki Beach was relaxed but still pretty elite. Here, servers in billowing white pans scurried back and forth constantly with bottles of Dom P. Of course, everything at Nikki Beach is about more: More differently configured VIP arrangements than you might initially invent, pricier drinks, longer bathroom lines, bigger lips, bigger pneumatic breasts. In a way, all the excess is transporting. To party at Nikki Beach is to completely time-warp from the peasant troubles of the outside world.
There was a pretty serious DJ line-up here, with house heavy-hitters in the outside sandy part, and local promoters Safe handling the techno and tech-house-heavy Flying Circus sub-party inside. This is where the dancing was going on, in one of the cool, shady areas where people were able to seriously get down.
Outside, at the time I arrived, Tom Novy was spinning, but it still wasn't really a dancing vibe. For one thing, the PA was pretty low. This was refreshing for the ears, and good for conversing, but it lacked the bass oomph needed to make people really get up. The other issue here: Most of the people trying to dance were crammed into a little spot in the front. The rest of the space in front of the DJ booth was dedicated to VIP lounge seating, which at this relatively early hour went largely unoccupied. Still, Novy dutifully dropped his club favorite "Your Body" towards the end of his set, which always perks everyone up.
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Tom Novy The vast VIP lounge area in front of the outside DJ booth.
Around 5:30, though, the tempo picked up markedly, and all of a sudden, there was a familiar voice yelling. Yes, it was Lil Jon, taking over the decks for his much-hyped exclusive WMC appearance. The man is such a pop culture icon, he can show up in front of a crowd and do whatever the hell he wants, and they'll probably be into it. So this appearance was kind of a hybrid DJ and MC set, with Jon playing high-energy house and hollering to hype up the crowd.
His taste in dance music is relentlessly uptempo, full of almost-annoying synth melody lines made to get hands in the air, ASAP. When he segued into a rework of Major Lazer's almost-annoying "Pon di Floor," the muscled, deeply tanned shirtless men around me seemed about to implode with excitement. At other points, Lil Jon dropped LMFAO tracks "Shots" and "I'm in Miami Bitch," which turned into group shout-alongs. The energy of the whole thing can be pretty much summed up in this little poor-quality video.