trees, moose and deer?
Miami isn’t the only city in south Florida,
and the 28,000-square-foot Revolution gave us reason to send
the Stalkers to Miami’s northern neighbor Fort Lauderdale.
Though Revolution has existed as an events space for some
70 years, the venue claims to have kicked it up a notch for
club-goers with a recent million-dollar-plus renovation.
Since the outdoor space typically hosts live events and the
interior acts the part of nightclub, Revolution has an in-house
production department that teams a touring soundman, a club
light tech, and a recording engineer. But can the team boast
seamlessly run systems – which include Vertec line arrays;
Martin Professional and Elation lights; a Kryogenifex rig;
and Numark-based video displays – in both the 2,000-cap
outdoor venue and 1,100-cap interior? We sent the Stalkers
to check out the systems and the layout – we let them
experience the South Fla weather too.
I arrived at Revolution with plenty of time to get my drink
on prior to the funkalicious vibes of The Roots on New Year’s
Eve. Revolution was very spacious, set up in a rectangle with
the stage in one corner and a bar, opposite that, big enough
to swallow the stage. Trees adorned the perimeter of the club,
reminding us over and over again that we were still outside.
It was easy to get lost since there was lots of room to move
around. You had to walk the length of the bar to get from
the VIP to the bathroom areas, which provided additional opportunities
to grab yet another drink.
Revolution offers a separate indoor section that is amazing
in its own right. There, the sunken dancefloor butts up against
another large stage. Between the first and second levels of
horseshoe-shaped balconies, it’s hard to say which has
the better view. On that first floor, you’ll find a
large bar. There are tables on the second level plus access
to an outdoor balcony. It was on that outdoor balcony where
NYE concert-goers definitely had the best view.
The bass was pumping at Revolution as The Roots rocked the
house. The outdoor venue gave them a crisp and clear sound
while the people in attendance gave off funky and eclectic
Being a house-head myself, I was afraid I’d have trouble
fitting in. Lucky for me, the crowd was cool, laid-back, and
even friendly. The populations of thugs and South Beach clubkids
were sparse, and people seemed genuinely sophisticated (minus
the pretentious part). The friendliness, of course, truly
emerged after the champagne was finally uncorked.
Normally, the indoor section of Revolution is included in
the experience. We noticed a line of snazzy club-goers waiting
to get into the techno-thumping interior, and we were intrigued!
Typically, partiers can float between in and outdoor sections
(but apparently not on New Year’s Eve).
The density of the crowd got thicker and thicker as our proximity
to the stage got closer and closer. Once we hit three deep,
it was time to stop pushing.
Trees formed a canopy over the smaller DJ booth while bright,
colorful lights danced around the stage. The open, airy acoustics
helped prevent that nasty, day-after ear-ringing.
Since it was New Year’s Eve, expectations were about
as high as the ball in Times Square, pre-midnight. Once entering
Revolution, I was immediately stalked by the beady eyes of
hanging deer and moose heads as I made my way to the bar.
The room felt dense, but not too crowded. And I soon found
out that those Ft. Lauderdale drinks were teetering on the
verge of South Beach prices. That’s New Year’s
Eve for you!
Lots of leafy foliage reminded us that we were, in fact, still
outside. But this outdoor space was very wide and open. A
large bar curved around the left side of the space with a
smaller island bar in the center of the floor. The upper VIP
section on the roof of the club’s interior may have
had the best view, but the lower VIP, where we got cozy, had
red ropes encasing its own personal stage for the pre- and
post-show DJs (DeeJay K-N-S and ?uestlove, respectively).
Champagne was flowing in our bottom-less glass flutes while
The Roots were jamming with a perfect mix of covers and originals.
The stage was lit up brightly while the rest of the venue
lingered in its shadow. Colorful rope lights snaked up the
sides of the smaller stage. With less than 200 of the original
1,500 warm bodies left, it was safe to say that we closed
down the place.
Compiled by Natalie Raben.