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Nervo - Maya Day and Nightclub - 5/17/2014

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Old Town was congested on Saturday night, what I assumed to be a combination of ASU graduation celebrations, the Mario Lopez appearance at International and Nervo's performance at Maya Day and Nightclub.

If you have a ticket or table, getting into Maya usually isn't a problem. There is a normal amount of waiting, and as long as you are dressed decently and have put yourself together, and aren't already completely wasted yet, you're good to go. There is, however always a ticket-less crowd that hovers around the front, who tries to hustle their way into entry. Groups of hot girls that expect to just be able to do things because they're hot and guys coming up with all sorts of exaggerations about how their friend is so-in-so -- it's really entertaining.

Inside it was busy, but not as busy I had anticipated by judging the congested streets outside of the club and the fact that an A-list DJ was performing. A dancer in the back pool area wore a metal outfit she would rub an electric saw across to create sparks, and acrobats in wigs and light-up leotards extended themselves from the main room's ceiling on ropes.

Nervo entered just before 12:30 a.m. There is no backstage or backroom area directly behind the DJ booth, so the girls were escorted by security through the dance floor. Nervo entered with grace, Miriam "Mim" and Olivia "Liv" Nervo looked fashion-forward, as expected. Liv wore what appeared to be a leather sweater. The print was divided baseball-jersey-style, with off-white sleeves (and spiked cuffs). The torso and chest region was a collage of vintage post cards. She matched it with black leggings and completed it with her staple mohawk.

Mim wore her hair down and wavy with a black boho hat, over-sized acid wash jean jacket, tribal thigh-length leggings under with high waist jean shorts, and over-the-knee boots. When she took off her jacket she revealed a backless, black leotard with an exposed leopard-print bra.

The girls waited a few moments as the opener mixed out of his set, casually drinking a Heineken out of the bottle, exchanging thoughts. The DJ booth was a small space, and lined with staff working the event.

Nervo opened with a bassy, big-room remix of "The Way We See The World," breaking away to greet the crowd.

"We missed you Scottsdale!" shouted Liv.

She made a remark about the last time they had been there (almost exactly a year ago), but I couldn't hear it completely from where I was standing. I don't think it's news that Nervo played all of their big hits like "Hold On," and "Not Taking This No More." They played a solid, energetic, big room set.

It was interesting to watch the mannerisms and nature of Mim and Liv behind the tables. They were so casual.

Liv would lift and glide her arms to the music, as if she was the conductor of a symphony, watching the crowd react. They would lean over to each other and say something and laugh to each other. The girls grooved and danced to their music like they were at home. For being conductors of so much loud noise and energy the two had such a calm, collected cool.

The crowd would throw things into the DJ booth: light toys, inflatable monkeys and palm trees. Liv would pick up the some of the items, like they were the funniest thing and hold it up, she took the monkey and kissed it. I've seen DJs and band members go ballistic and stop performances for people throwing things on stage (which is kind of rude in the first place, in my opinion), but the sisters just had such a great, positive energy about them. They reacted to things the way a (nice) person reacts to a child -- you want to laugh because they are so ridiculous, but you adore them at the same time.

Nervo's set seemed sincere, which was refreshing to see from a mainstream electro/house act. DJs who answer to large labels are instructed to create hype at their shows. So often the energy the try to produce isn't genuine; it's strategy. While that's understandable, it can become obnoxious when their motive is obvious. DJs who spend an hour just beating the sky with forced fits-pumps and screaming things they don't mean -- like that Arizona is the best place in the world (it's not).

It was really refreshing to see A-listers who just did what they did, enjoyed it, and didn't have to try.

Critic's Notebook

Yesterday: NERVO at Maya Day and Nightclub in Scottsdale.

Personal Bias: Overall good performance by Nervo, super drunk crowd.

Audience: A drunken Scottsdale ego, in all shapes, sizes and sexes.

Random Notebook Dump: Liv's attempt at an American accent: "Are there always this many beautiful girls in Scotts-dale?" This was immediately followed by a good laugh between the two.

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