ABSOLUT X hosted a party Thursday night at Soho Studios in what surely was one of the highlights of the year for many Miamians. More than 2,500 excited partiers stood in seemingly endless lines well before doors opened at 9 p.m.. As fans slowly made their way into the space, they were invited to wear masks or have their faces painted for the masquerade theme.
At the center of the space was a massive “art bar” that featured a large archway with a DJ booth at the top and was flanked by two large bars pouring Absolut drinks. Guests had their choice of Absolut Greyhounds (vodka and grapefruit juice), Absolut Punch or Absolut Caipiroskas (vodka, muddled lime and sugar). For the art component, Absolut invited local Miami artist Agustina Woodgate to create works that included a large iridescent installation on the roof and a rainbow scratch wall; the pieces were later donated to the charity Architecture for Humanity.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the night was the performance by British indie-rock band Bloc Party. Despite 10 years of playing together and a large following in the United States, the band had never played in Miami. Fans eagerly huddled against the stage as the band emerged and played a well-curated set of their songs. Those with only passing familiarity with the band immediately recognized and were excited to hear their biggest hits “Banquet,” “Helicopter” and “This Modern Love” from their first album Silent Alarm. The band also played lesser-known gems like “Hunting for Witches” from their second album A Weekend in the City and “Truth” from their latest album Four.
The band did not disappoint, playing with the urgency we have grown to expect from their tight recordings. The audience clearly enjoyed the set; fans thrashed against each other mosh pit style. The band shared an unreleased song called “Ratchet” that is as good as any of their best hits and shares the signature dance-rock feel.To end their set, Bloc Party played an intriguing pair of songs. The first was a cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” which had the crowd singing along, and then came “Flux” — the latter from the album A Weekend In The City. As the band left the stage, the crowd quickly dispersed outside the hall, humming and singing along to their favorite Bloc Party tracks as they walked over empty Absolut cocktail glasses.