The hush-hush party central
of WMC ’03
Replacing the elegant Lola Bar is the kooky,
pop-arty Nerve, a small South Beach experiment with a Phazon
sound system, lighting system by Custom Lighting’s Derek
Vasquez, and a visiting DJ roster that would pop your eyes
out. Plus, this is a club with a concept – the owners
describe it as “anti-minimalist,” or maybe “post-art-deco-revisionist.”
Let’s just say that they’re going to totally change
the club’s decor every two months, an idea inspired
by legendary NY club Area. (We knew New Yorkers had to be
behind this somehow…)
We let the Stalkers loose inside Nerve during Winter Music
Conference week…not a good time to grade any Miami club,
but who said we were fair?
This place is totally uncool and I love it. There’s
kitschy, crazy pop art all over the walls, weird-ass mannequins
posed in the corner, and no hint of that detached European
South Beach BS that pervades every other party in this city.
The main room is about the size of my parent’s basement
with ceilings almost as low, and that, my friends, is where
the Phazon is. So all that blistering, pummeling, brain-rattling
bass is trapped in this relatively tiny space, thus making
the walls literally shake. There’s also a bodega next
door for convenient pre-club cigarette and gum purchases.
Nerve brought out the animal in all the DJs who played there.
They’d get all their crew around them in the small elevated
DJ booth, take one look at the crowd jammed into the dark,
smoky space, and start mixing like madmen. Plus there’s
a set of twins who work as bouncers there, a visual that only
adds to the insanity if you opt to partake.
My drink was a perfect mix of vodka and Bull, although after
a couple I found it hard to get around the women’s bathroom.
There’s an oddly placed mirror in there that plays depth-perception
tricks with your eyes. Plus the individual stalls are really
narrow and add to that tunnel effect that seems to happen
when you’re drunk. I liked that the place was lounge-sized
without a lounge feel (total dance club all the way), and
that the staff was actually nice, which is rare in South Beach.
And oh yeah, did I mention that the vibe in this club is totally
insane?! We ended up at Nerve for three nights out of the
Conference – that alone says it all.