Ten Live Music Acts That Have Never Performed in Miami

Despite its reputation as an international party capital, Miami could improve as a live music destination. We certainly attract our fair share of triple-A acts (many of whom end up performing at the AAA), such as Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Chance the Rapper. But because of the distance from the next major touring city (Atlanta), many bands and artists that aren't obscenely rich either wait for festivals like III Points, Rolling Loud, and Ultra or skip South Florida. For much of the year, music fans end up with slim pickings.

And that's a shame, because Miami has the potential to become a music mecca. There are venues catering to acts of every size and persuasion and a population large enough to ensure that fans will turn out year-round. Below is a list of ten acts in a variety of genres that, for whatever reason, have never performed in Miami. Whether they visit on the festival circuit or their own tour, Miami can definitely find a spot for them.

Wikimedia Commons

1. Björk
There is a very clear, disturbing reason Björk has never performed in South Florida: It was the home of her stalker. In 1996, Ricardo López of Hollywood sent the singer an acid bomb hidden in a book in an attempt to disfigure her. After sending the package, which was intercepted by police before reaching the pop star, he filmed his suicide, shooting himself in the head as "I Remember You" played in the background.

It’s been 20 years since the incident, hopefully enough time for old wounds to heal. Despite any bad mojo surrounding Miami in Björk’s mind, the Icelandic artist’s bizarre yet undeniably beautiful visual sensibility would fit right into the art world’s wild vacation spot of choice. Imagine the extraordinary spectacle she might put on at the Arsht Center or the Fillmore or maybe even the New World Center.

Fleet FoxesEXPAND
Fleet Foxes
Courtesy of Billions

2. Fleet Foxes
Beards, weird instruments, an affinity for the ancient world — these are not things one associates with Miami. But they are all part of the Seattle folk-rock band Fleet Foxes' milieu. And though the band's vibe might be more piney than palmy, the music, complex and endearing with searching lyrics and gorgeous instrumental arrangements, fits in well here. With the impending release of Crack-Up, their first album since 2011, the band will be on the road, and promoters should work to make this odd combination of setting and players work here. How about a magical evening at Bayfront Park Amphitheater?

Photo by Brendan Walter

3. Lorde
How mad were you when, upon hearing about Lorde’s Melodrama World Tour, you scanned the list of dates and discovered, mouth agape, that no American shows had been announced? OK, maybe the odd West Coast festival made the cut, but still, what the hell?! We can only hope that, when the inevitable American leg is released, the New Zealand pop star will grace us with her gothy presence. That way, you and 20,000 of your closest friends will be able to belt out “Royals” and “Green Light” alongside the queen of alt-pop.

4. Aphex Twin
Ultra Music Festival, meet your next great headliner. The elusive English producer has played live only a handful of times since resurfacing for his 2014 album, Syro. But when he does perform, such as at London’s Field Day festival a few weeks ago, he brings the place to its knees through dazzling visuals and crushing acid-house and techno beats. Think Miami already knows what it means to rave? Think again: A bit of Aphex acid will teach us a lesson we’ll never forget.

The NationalEXPAND
The National
Photo by Graham MacIndoe

5. The National
Here’s another of those bands that has seemingly played everywhere but Miami. Maybe it’s our lack of a true rock festival (SunFest is close, but it’s always been more eclectic and mainstream, less “indie” and more “alt”). But even so, it’s inexcusable. We are severely lacking in upbeat-yet-morose rock featuring a deep-voiced, suit-wearing lead singer named Matt Berninger! This year is the National’s opportunity to make amends. The band has an album due out in the fall, and a tour should soon follow. Throw us a bone and play the Fillmore, guys.

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