III Points 2015 Day Three: King Krule, Damian Lazarus, and More

Blood, sweat, and III Points.
Blood, sweat, and III Points.
Photo by Alex Markow

Feet were sore. Heads hurt. It was the last leg of a long race, but Sunday's III Points lineup — which featured Bomba Estéreo, Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons, and King Krule, among others — gave attendees just enough juice to get over the hill.

III Points finished its third and biggest year to date with no major hiccups — no TomorrowWorld-level fuck-ups. Overall, it would be damn hard to call it anything but a success. We'll dive a bit deeper into the postfestival wrap-up with some upcoming articles, but for now, let's take a look back at Sunday's music. 

Bomba Estéreo recently collaborated with Will Smith.
Bomba Estéreo recently collaborated with Will Smith.
Photo by Karli Evans

Bomba Estéreo
Rock en español gets a bad rap. Why? Often bands seem to be emulating their North American and European counterparts instead of forging their own sound. But then there are bands like Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo, which sounds like nothing coming out of the English-speaking world. Imagine if Carlos Vives were mashed up with early Major Lazer. It’s an insanely catchy electro-cumbia sound, even if you don’t speak a lick of Spanish. During its set at III Points, the band hit the stage dressed in all white as singer Liliana Saumet kicked things off by asking, “¿Que pasa, Miami? ¡Arriba!” From there, the band had the crowd shaking its hips to cuts like “Caderas,” “Pa’ Respirar,” “Sólo Tú,” and “Fiesta” — the latter came without a Will Smith cameo, sadly. What was perhaps the best thing about Bomba Estéreo's set is that the crowd — heavy with South American attendees — showed that there is a place for rock en español at the festival, and it might be in III Points’ best interest to explore how it can strengthen its commitment in bringing more non-English-speaking, non-European acts to town. Bomba Estéreo was definitely feeling the love because they went ten minutes over their allotted time with an encore (not something a lot of III Points bands dared to do) — but it didn’t seem like anyone was complaining about it. — Jose D. Duran

There wasn't a whole lot of rock ’n’ roll at III Points.
There wasn't a whole lot of rock ’n’ roll at III Points.
Photo by Karli Evans

Deaf Poets
Some good ol'-fashion rock 'n' roll. There wasn't too much of that at III Points. But Deaf Poets, the local rock duo that was recently featured on the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, were out to give the festival its due dosage. With just a drummer and guitarist, Deaf Poets' sound is impressively full. Close your eyes and you'd be shocked there were only two dudes on that stage. Unfortunately, the whole two-man drummer/guitarist thing means that Black Keys comparisons will follow them around for eternity, but anyone listening closely can see that they are two different bands, and the Poets served as the perfect opportunity to loosen up your rock ’n’ roll muscles before King Krule's set. — Ryan Pfeffer

Damian Lazarus will grant your wishes.
Damian Lazarus will grant your wishes.
Photo by Karli Evans

Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons
Damian Lazarus looked like the Zoltar machine from Big. No disrespect to the man (I have tons of respect for him, actually), but I couldn’t let that observation go unnoticed. But what I will take seriously is Lazarus’ musical output. His set at III Points wasn’t a mere DJ set. Flanked to two band members, one handling percussion and the other keyboard and synthesizers, Lazarus gave the crowd an A/V spectacle. “Sacred Dance of the Demon” and “Lovers' Eyes (Mohe Pi Ki Najariya)” launched the Crosstown Rebels leader’s set. He later brought out a singer to add live vocals to “We Will Return.” Lazarus has always been a showman, and the addition of live instrumentation and vocals only added to the grandiose nature of his performance while serving as a great rebuttal to those who say electronic music isn’t “real music” and cannot be performed live. Because with the waning energy of festivalgoers (I advise an earlier closing time on Sunday next year), the crowd was feeding off Lazarus' enthusiasm. The man refused to remain still during his performance, jerking to every beat. It was infectious and gave me a much-needed boost before calling it a wrap. — Jose D. Duran

XXYYXX is from Orlando.
XXYYXX is from Orlando.
Photo by Karli Evans

XXYYXX 
Before his penultimate track played from the Main Stage at III Points on Sunday evening, Marcel Everett, otherwise known as the 19-year-old DJ and producer XXYYXX, admitted excitedly, "It's good coming back home to friends and family." Though home is actually a few hours north in Orlando, this Florida boy's music perfectly suited that place and time. Perhaps because of his young age, he's able to, without prejudice, truly experiment. He takes a variety of electronic subgeneres, R&B, and hip-hop and cleverly rolls them out with a few jungle breakbeats. Everett delicately and smartly piles them on one another like a game of Jenga to create something wholly new and wonderful. Like clay, he manipulates each song, kneading, warping, stretching tracks out, and massaging them into one long symphony. He launched with Joey Bada$$'s line "teach me how to dance" on loop, then went on to slow down "Set It Off" from Strafe's freestyle classic, turning it into some witchy version of itself. It was at this point where Everett's tall frame seemed to emerge from the darkness into two red lights shining down in a "V" on his laptop. The sun had just set, so even though the music was perfect for dancing, the crowd took its time warming up. But Everett was clearly enjoying his own creation. Against one wall, there was the one requisite couple with an LED rainbow Hula-Hoop and poi who seemed enthusiastic from the get-go. There was even the faintest smell of Vicks floating in the air. The DJ brought in Jeremiah's "Birthday Sex," a longer sampling of Drake and Future's "Diamonds Dancing," and the dark and heady line "look inside of my soul" from Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe." No matter how fast your brain is working, it's impossible to pick up everything that Everett's throwing down, and why would you even want to? Simply let your body ride the complex wave of sounds working their way slowly through his speakers. — Liz Tracy

King Krule is the real deal.
King Krule is the real deal.
Photo by Karli Evans

King Krule
If you put Ed Sheeran in a blender with a tablespoon of motor oil, a quarter pound of angst, and Johnny Rotten's used chewing gum, you might get King Krule. Not too many knew what to expect from the 21-year-old genre-blending singer/songwriter from London. Krule, born Archy Marshall, is still largely a mystery. He apparently had a troubled childhood, suffering from insomnia and skipping so much school that his parents nearly went to jail for his truancy. And then there are his songs — deep, dark, and beautiful, infused with jazz and punk, the sort of bellowing masterpieces that quickly earn one the title of tortured genius. What would he do when he hit the III Points stage? Surely something crazy. Would he start a fight? Down a whole bottle of Jameson? Defecate on a picture of Pippa Middleton? Maybe all of those things at once? But those expecting some type of anarchic display of youth in rebellion were instead greeted with consummate professionalism. Krule and his band (his really, really good band) ran through the 50-minute set with no gimmicks, just tight musicianship with the perfect amount of attitude. Krule didn't say much, only the occasional greeting, things like "What's good, Miami?" Whether he's troubled or unstable or perfectly well-adjusted to society, one thing is not up for speculation: his talent. It's there, blatant and shiny like the hair on his head, and it can't be ignored. — Ryan Pfeffer

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