Why so pensive, Tiesto?

Netherlands-bred Tijs Verwest — known as DJ Tiësto behind the turntables — knows how to keep the crowds moving to his hypnotic mash-ups of the trance sounds found in albums such as his Grammy-nominated Elements of Life. It’s no surprise then that, when it’s time to enjoy a little downtime, he craves a similarly lively atmosphere in which to party and play in, making Miami one of his favorite “stay at and play at” spots.

“I spend a lot of time in Miami,” he said on the phone before traveling to South Florida for his headlining performance Friday night at the Ultra Music Festival in Bayfront Park. “I love it.”

Missed Tiësto Friday night at Ultra? Then get excited and get to Mansion early Saturday night, where he’ll be spinning. From what he told us, there’s nothing he loves more than a packed Miami dance floor.

What do you love about Miami?
I love South Beach and all it represents. It’s relaxing and there’s no worries. There’s also a lot of good food and great restaurants everywhere.

What are your favorite Miami restaurants?
I always go to Joe’s Stone Crab when I come here, and Nobu. I also like the small restaurant across Mokai, Talula.

Is Mokai one of your favorite nightspots in Miami?
Yes, I love it. It’s nice and small and cool to hang out in, with nice people. Plus, the times I’ve been there they’ve played house music, which is a great switch from what I do for a living, which is trance. It’s good to disconnect and unwind in there.

Is there anything you don’t like about Miami?
The only thing that stresses me out is the way clubs can be managed. They oversell the club and then fans get turned away at the door and can’t get in to see you play. It bothers me when fans buy a ticket a week before, then are told they can’t get in because it’s packed.

What can people expect from your show?
A bangin’ good time filled with classic old and new Tiësto. I’m always excited to play. In general, I look at crowds and see how they react. Sometimes I never know what I’m going to play until the last minute and just go with the feeling.

Will we be seeing more of you in Miami?
Yes. I actually bought a house in Miami about two years ago at Aqua on Allison Island. I go there a lot and spend a lot of time relaxing. It’s a more residential area but it’s also no more than ten minutes away from all the action [South Beach].