Edge

South Beach strikes a Nerve, but can it last?

Nestled up on Miami Beach, a safe distance from the iridescent glow of trendy hotel-laden Collins Ave, the newest child of music and Miami lifestyle stands beckoning clubbers of every background to try something different.
“Club goers are a very large and diverse population,” says Rodolphe Pieper, one of three owners of Nerve, the newest addition to the beach scene. In fact, most SoBe club attendees have yearned for the same redundant techno/extravagance/beauty formula in lavish themed dEcors and extraordinary, hedonistic settings. Has Nerve slapped a fresh pack of cards on the table? Is its audience really ready to take off their night sunglasses or are they the same bunch of obnoxious and brazen phonies pervading the strip on Washington Avenue?
Set off the normal beaten path of the Miami party scene, the less-than-obvious new home of Nerve is one that Pieper is ready to usher into this era of glitz and glamour. His aspirations of turning the otherwise taciturn area west of Collins into a Miami disco Mecca have begun in full swing.
After a last minute ad campaign that swept over the beach like wildfire, Nerve opened its doors Saturday, March 15th to some success. Flyers featuring some well-known cartoon characters and other not so well known adult comic figures kept everyone wondering just what to expect once the doors had opened.
The promise of a Phazon sound system (Nerve has the largest of any other club of its size) and notable progressive house and trance DJs gave Nerve instant street cred-of course, that is, if you’re into the mainstream techno scene of SoBe’s nightlife. Resident DJs Roman Ricardo and Michael Storms hold down techno on Friday and Saturday nights, while Mark Leventhal spins commercial hip hop on Monday nights. Thus, in terms of the music, you know what to expect and the inventiveness of the record crates here is debatable.
Surrounded by throngs of beautiful men and women (most of whom work for him), Pieper relaxes in the company of friends, including the area’s most famous drag queen and Buster, the promotions director for 93.1 FM, and the typical Miami jet-set on a Friday night. “A club is like a child,” he explains. “You nurture it as much as possible, but ultimately it makes its own decision as to what it will be.” Sounds like a truism, yet perhaps the guy has a point.
As a place first described on its website (NerveMiami.com) as neither a club nor a lounge, but rather a “space,” Nerve quickly “seems to be becoming a club,” Pieper says. But unlike any other venue of its kind on the beach, looking too “last season” or “blas

April 1, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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