FKA Twigs Seduces Art Basel Miami Beach... With Special Guest Robert Pattinson!
With Clams Casino
Presented by III Points and YoungArts
YoungArts Campus, Miami
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Thursday, December 4, 2014
Better Than: Voguing alone in your room to the Queen of the Damned soundtrack.
Ever wonder what it would be like if Trent Reznor and Siouxsie Sioux had a daughter who loved vampire movies and taught herself to pop and lock? With industrial R&B princess FKA Twigs on the scene, this fantasy's become reality.
Last night, Twigs and her band wrapped up their first international tour while kicking off III Points and YoungArts' Basel 2014 music series with Clams Casino. Girls "squee"-ed, smoke went everywhere, and Twigs' vampy beau Robert Pattinson was seen haunting around like some regular-old pasty guy.
The evening was, in a word, "preternatural."
The III Points crew has done a nice job setting up camp in the middle of Edgewater.
The Miami curatorial outfit has constructed a tent on the National YoungArts Campus that's large enough to house every black-clad hipster within a ten-mile radius -- though it's still inconspicuous enough not to be outrageous.
Inside, there's a giant stage at one end and a comfy lounge at the other. A food cart sells Miami restaurant Gigi's favorites, and there are couches and tables for when you feel like just hanging around.
Last night's event fell behind schedule a bit. But when Clams Casino finally arrived, the bass was bone-crushing. It, too, was the New Jersey hip-hop producer's first performance in Miami. He let loose some of his work with A$AP Rocky and all manner of low-register gurgles. It was a heavily atmospheric set, not quite unlike the singer that would follow.
People milled about sipping Beck's out of cans and taking selfies in the on-campus GIF-making trailer. And though FKA Twigs was supposed to go on at 10 p.m., it was already 30 minutes past when Clams Casino finished.
The star of the evening would keep the crowd waiting until after 11.
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But the wait didn't seem to matter.
As soon as Twigs came on stage, people went bananas. It was impossible to see her. There was so much smoke and back lighting, she was just a waving silhouette.
Everything this woman does is like an impression of Aaliyah in The Queen of the Damned. The music is better, though, thank god, but it does get a bit one-note after 45 minutes. If you're just a casual fan, it may start to all bleed together in a mess of whispy melodies and factory beats.
Of course, goth-wave whisper stuff is, like, the vogue genre as of late. It was as if the crowd was dying and the only thing that could save them was more harsh percussion and shrill singing. We're not sure if it was because of the sound quality or Twigs herself, but we couldn't understand a word she was saying. If you got really, really close, you could kind of connect. And if you knew all the words anyway, which a lot of people did, you could sing along.
Let us not downplay Twigs sense of stage presence. She's tiny and demure when she speaks, but she knows what to do with her body. She commands the crowd, if you're close enough to see her. The power doesn't translate so well to the back of the room, but she still has the rest of her career to figure that out. Up in the front, everything between songs was "she's so adorable," "I love her," "oh, worth the wait," so we're gonna say she is doing just fine.
Everyone sang along to her big hit, "Two Weeks," and we were kind of like, "Aww, you're precious," when she said the word "fuck." She thanked Miami softly for coming out, her crew for getting her through the whirlwind tour, and announced how happy she was to be heading home before launching into her last ethereal movement.
When it was time to head home, everyone left with big smiles on their faces, but we kind of hope to see a bit more range and variety from FKA Twigs work to come.
We're not really sure what makes her so buzz-worthy, other than she can sing and dance and wears cool clothes and looks witchy. Her music videos are pretty cool, but we need more than neat visuals and someone who looks kind of like Aaliyah.
If the appeal is her lyrics, it was definitely lost in that voice muddle. But hey, all in all, it was chill, and it was still a better love story than Twilight.
FKA Twigs' Setlist:
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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