DanceStar Awards bring the celebs to Bayfront

“And thanks for a president who has hustled and lied to us,” said international DJ and producer Moby, referring to Bush during his acceptance speech for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Dance Music’ award last Tuesday night. Moby was just one of the dozens of electronic music celebrities in attendance at this year’s DanceStar U.S.A. Awards Show held at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami.

Hailed as the largest televised electronic music event, with broadcasts to 54 different countries, DanceStar U.S.A. asks the fans to decide who should win in 25 categories including Best International DJ, Best CD Compilation, and Best use of Music in a Computer Game.

But Moby’s not so unexpected political speech was one of the high points of this year’s event. Granted, it was great to see Paul van Dyk win three awards, including best International DJ and lesser-known Gabriel and Dresden receive the award for Best Breakthrough DJ.

However, the show as a whole was a letdown.

A seemingly apathetic crowd of over two thousand did not help as very talented performers took the stage, including Crystal Method, Audio Bully’s, and the first-ever collaboration between Paul van Dyk, Moby, and Perry Farrell.

The only time the crowd leaped to their feet was for the Blue Man Group, which gave an incredible performance of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.”

Hosting the awards show was Carmen Electra, who did a great job keeping the audience calm through a series of technical and production problems. Her presence was only matched by Paris Hilton, who was there as a presenter and as the winner of the “Best Celebrity DJ” award. It was at her expense that the most humorous part of the night took place, as Drag Queen Lady Bunny, a presenter wearing a Janet Jackson-inspired nipple- bearing dress, asked: “Paris Hilton as Best Celebrity DJ? Maybe Best BJ! I saw the video.” This then prompted a small catfight with Carmen Electra over her new husband Dave Navarro, also in attendance as a presenter.

Other winners include Crystal Method for Best Album, Best Single, and Best Act by a U.S. artist; Benny Benassi for Best Music Video for his song “Satisfaction,” and Deep Dish for Best U.S. DJ and Best CD Compilation for Toronto 025.

It was very exciting to see so many talented DJs and producers in one place, and to watch electronic music receive recognition as a respectable form of entertainment. But unless there are some pretty big changes to the awards show for next year, don’t bother shelling out the dough for the $20 ticket price.

Corey Reeser can be contacted at