BEST ONE-NIGHTER Miami 2004 - Fuácata at I/O
How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new digs at I/O (after its run at old Little Havana roost Hoy Como Ayer), there's room to get your groove on without simultaneously getting your limbs caught up in someone else's groove thang. Rather than taking their enduring popularity as a license to play it safe, the Spamsters have managed to expand their wild DJ-with-band sound, jamming with the legendary salsa master Larry Harlow, collaborating with Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell, or simply following their guitarist Adam Zimmon into uncharted rhythmic territory, which he explores like a musical Magellan. Fuácata's lack of pretension is leavened by the right dash of neighborhood grit seeping in from downtown streets. This weekly shindig's welcoming vibe and multiethnic crowd represents what so many out-of-towners assume rules this metropolis eight days a week. Locals know better, but on Thursdays we can still pretend.