Drawing inspiration from the film Eyes Wide Shut, the play Sleep No More, and your week’s oddest daydream, the Oculto Manor is an incognito choose-your-own-adventure that finishes strong with a concert. None of the guests really know what they are in for and yet thousands of eager patrons circle the block on a warm Miami evening, hoping to strap on a mask and cross the threshold into a mysterious night of immersive adventure, music, and beer.
Imagine, if you will, a dusky chamber with three stark white doors. Behind each lies a unique journey, lots of choices, and a chance to make secrets. Housed in the enormous and magnificently eerie Soho Studio space, the Oculto Manor offers both a launch party and a live concert series that erupts from the floorboards of a macabre fun house. Welcome. Please enjoy the stay, your blue agave-infused brew, and your anonymity.
Each chamber in the Manor is a completely different reality crafted with exquisite detail. At one moment, you’re trapped in an out-of-control police station with frenzied crooks and cops alike, lining you up for mugshots and fingerprinting. Then, you’re transported to a Lynchian day spa that uses rose pedals and Styrofoam peanuts instead of steam and water. The attending performers encourage you to relax, as if you woke up in the middle of a genie’s lamp on Halloween.
Spontaneous conga lines of shoulder massages and laughter rise up between complete strangers while the siren song of live music draws you deeper into this bizarre labyrinth. You cross through a dressing room of Golden era Hollywood starlets who beckon to stay forever, but you know you have to get through to the other side. Although each trip through the Oculto Manor is completely different, all paths lead to the headliner. And tonight, Little Dragon is there, lying in wait.
Little Dragon frontwoman Yukimi Nagano is one of the more interesting performers around. Her voice is stunning, her lyrics are provoking, and her demeanor is altogether fiery. In a spider web poncho and gloves stolen from Selina Kyle, Nagano creeps about the stage, brandishing her trusty tennis racket tambourine, which she bangs like a mad conductor. She rattles into a jazzed up version of “Killing Me”, off last year’s Grammy-nominated Nabuma Rubberband.
Drummer Erik Bodin keeps things churning as Fredrik Wallin and Håkan Wirenstrand one-up each other on the keys. Their adrenalized synths and the accompanying percussion ensures that everyone not only keeps dancing but stays behind their masks. Nagano explores the space with an extended outro following “Test”, which morphs into lead single “Klapp Klapp”. Soon after, the night belongs to DJ Uchi and Cedric Gervais, who toss the rattled patrons fresh Ocultos as they re-enter the mysterious hallways.
Secret new headliners will be making their way South to carry on the torch sparked by Little Dragon. The Oculto Manor resumes its final weekend of shows April 30th through May 2nd. Be sure to RSVP so that you, too, can put on the mask, raise a toast, and make your own secrets.
Shuffle A Dream