Krave is located on Washington Street, club central in Miami Beach's South Beach District, which might fairly be called club central for the United States. Billed as the place where “a retro-60s ambience meets future-tech 21st-century nightlife,” it occupies the location formerly belonging to a club called The G Spot. The owner, Joe Black Productions, decided to redo The G Spot with an upscale lounge feeling, and Krave is the result. The club caters to various clientele, with hip-hop events on Thursdays and a younger, more eclectic crowd on the weekends.

LD Nestor Thomas, who was based in New York, came onboard to redo The G Spot for the millennium and stayed to help turn it into Krave. Before that, Thomas worked with New York's Excel Lighting Productions, working with owner Rick Ferrara on a variety of projects including New York's China Club and Twilo, events at the fabled Sound Factory, the Long Island venue Siberia, as well as corporate events for Lucent Technologies and the New York Stock Exchange. By the middle of 2000, Thomas' transformation to Krave was underway.

Thomas is a passionate advocate for High End Systems lighting products and, to light Krave, he put together a package that includes that company's Trackspot® and Technobeam® moving-mirror automated luminaires as well as Studio Color® moving-yoke units. Basically a lounge with lots of couches and fabrics, Krave is a large, open space that provides the LD with a large canvas on which to work. “It's a square space, nothing fancy architecturally,” says Thomas, adding, “it's so open — you can stand in the back and look out on the dance floor.” Lighting is controlled via a Jands Hog console: “It's a beautiful board for clubs,” the LD adds. “I swear by it. I wouldn't use anything else.”

In addition to the High End equipment, Krave has an elaborate laser system, supplied by Laser Production Network. According to Justin Clague, of LPN, “Three days before New Year's 2000, we got a call from The G Spot, so Tom [Harman, president of LPN] went in and installed the system, an American Laser 909 5W argon unit with a ScannerPro projector and a Lasermax 4 control system. When they closed down to remodel, we wanted to take the time to move the laser, which was placed near the bar area, and concentrate energy over the dance floor. The owners custom-built a shelf over the DJ's head, which protrudes out to the dance floor. We relocated the remote-bounce mirrors [there are 18], which gave us 200% improvement. Nestor and I did some drawings together — we wanted to blend the lasers with the lights and make different looks that would be really hot. There's not a lot of clearance between the trussing and the laser projection area, so the challenge was to work with the laser in and around the other effects that Nestor has installed.” Among other things, there is a video projector in use.

Clague runs the laser show at the club, working closely with Thomas's lighting. He points out that a live operator is best: “It's easy to train somebody to operate our system, although, to do it well, like anything, it takes some time. Down at the Living Room [another area club], for example, a guy pushes one button to operate the system.” But at Krave, he says, it's important to have a live laser operator because “the format has changed to hip-hop, and the DJs switch quickly between records. With trance or house music, you have several minutes, but with hip-hop you have to really watch the DJs to make sure the room looks like the music feels. When something happens in the music, we want to make it happen in the lighting.” Again, he strives to blend in his work with Thomas'. The American 909 argon laser gives off a bluish-green beam, but, he adds, “I have a PCAOM crystal on it, which allows me to take the different wavelengths of light to get a deep blue, a forest green, and blend them together. I've never worked in a club that plays hip-hop and has this many toys.” He adds, “Nestor has so much responsibility at that club — he's the production guy for everything.”

In fact, Thomas is now living in Miami Beach working on other club projects. Right now, Krave is the club of the moment, and it keeps Thomas and Clague busy; thanks to them, The G Spot is a thing of the past.

Contact the author at dbarbour@intertec.com.