Thursday night I headed down to the DNA Lounge to catch last summer’s blog heroes, Miami Horror. Walking in, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from a live Miami Horror show. I mean come on, Australian disco? Would they all just look like Corey Worthington with afros and rollerskates? Would they spend their set planking on stage? Thankfully I didn’t let my cultural insecurities get the best of me, because it would soon prove to be a killer performance.
Jeffrey Jerusalem, a touring member of DFA’s Yacht opened the show. His performance consisted of him singing and playing a keyboard controller and some percussion over pre recorded material. Although his brand of discoey electro pop was pretty high energy stuff, he failed to get the crowd really moving. It wouldn’t be fair to leave out that he played some sweet riffs on his midi controller and destructively rocked a pair of rototoms as well. Hell, you know what? Let’s all just blame the lack of dancing on the lack of dancers. Jeffrey Jerusalem was pretty damn alright. I give Jeff one and a half thumbs up plus a gold star for giving it all he’s got.
Miami Horror took the stage soon after. They opened with the aptly chosen and funky as all hell, “Summersun.” As soon as Josh Moriarty’s vocals came in, the crowd finally came out of its shell. Two dudes to my left started making out. Two bros to my right fisted pumped like the ceiling had just slapped their girl’s ass. Everyone was happy. The band quickly segued seamlessly into a psychedelic instrumental jam. For parts of the set, the band seemed very limited by their instrumentation. As I suspected, Miami Horror live is a very hard thing to pull off. The band had surprisingly little outboard gear on stage. Moriarty’s vocals also seemed to fall flat on numbers like “I Look to You” or “Holiday” which featured guest vocalists on their album (Kimbra and Alan Palomo of Neon Indian respectively).
The band made up for any shortcomings with pure on stage energy. I have a feeling that if I hadn’t already been a huge fan of their album, Illumination, I would have thought they performed amazingly. Anyone in the crowd who wasn’t already a fan was probably made a fresh Miami Horror convert that night. They played every crowd favorite including “Make You Mine” and “Don’t be on With Her.” The energy built continuously as their set progressed and came to a peak as they ended with “Sometimes.”
In summary, a live Miami Horror show is an odd thing. If you’re a huge fan, the performance might disappoint you. If you’re just being introduced to them, they’ll blow you the fuck away. Either way you’ll have a blast. If they’re in town, see them.
Wait! There’s more:
The Metropolitan Jolt interview Ben from Miami Horror last time they were in SF, check that out here.