Ten Bands That Have Tragically Never Played Miami

Don't think we've forgotten about you, Lorde.
Don't think we've forgotten about you, Lorde.
Photo Courtesy of the Windish Agency

For a very long time, Miami has faced one big obstacle when it comes to live music: geography.

The fact is, it takes a lot of convincing for a band to drive all the way down to the tip of Florida. From a financial perspective, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why waste all that gas and time commuting to South Beach when you can make just as much scratch stopping in Atlanta or New Orleans?

Or if you do decide to dip past Orlando, why not just stop in Broward? It's a decent market with adequate venues. To sum it up, nobody needs to come to Miami. Bands come to Miami because they want to.

But there's good news: Bands want to perform in Miami more and more each year. The rise of the Miami arts scene, III Points, Winter Music Conference, Art Basel, and the whole no-snow thing has been making the Magic City more attractive than ever. And in the past five years, Miami has seen just about every major touring act in the nation.

Still, there are some holdouts.

Tame Impala is on Miami's wish list.EXPAND
Tame Impala is on Miami's wish list.
Courtesy of Paradigm Agency

10. Tame Impala

These Australian psychedelic maestros have been around for less than a decade, so — considering the band's recent heavy American festival touring schedule — there is hope they could make their way here one day. But for seven straight years, they've played just about every major music market in the States except here. Let's hope they can add Miami to their itinerary next year. There sure would be a hell of a fit for III Points 2017.

9. Kate Bush

This one is kind of a cheat because the English chanteuse has played America a grand total of once. And that was on Saturday Night Live in December 1978. Her return to the stage in 2014 after a two-decade-plus hiatus gives fans hope that maybe she might play America properly one day. A city can dream, right?

We're holding out hope for 2017.
We're holding out hope for 2017.
Photo by Timothy Norris

8. The Gorillaz

Though we swear we saw its cartoon image on a Wynwood Wall one time, Damon Albarn's animated supergroup has never played Florida. But with a new album speculated to drop in 2017, maybe there's hope yet. Come to think of it, Ultra has been on a real reunion kick lately. Gorillaz on the main stage, please?

7. Aphex Twin

Another recluse from the stage, the British electronic music savant hasn't played on U.S. soil since Coachella in 2008. But Miami, with its love of all things electronic, would be a fitting place for his return. Maybe WMC 2017? It seems Ultra would have deep enough pockets to cure Richard D. James of his shyness.

6. The Sea and Cake

Probably the most obscure act on this list, the Chicago indie jazz-rock quartet makes beautiful noise to which anyone who has felt an ounce of angst can relate. The band tours often, but unfortunately South Florida has yet to experience that angst firsthand. In a 20-year career, the closest the Sea and Cake came to Miami was a 2003 show in Orlando. Winter is coming to Chicago as we speak — perhaps now is the time for a tropical vacation.

 

MF Doom duped us.
MF Doom duped us.
Photo by Karli Evans

5. MF Doom

We know what you're thinking: Wait! MF Doom performed at III Points last year! But although the British-born, U.S.-bred MC was on the lineup, he never physically took the stage — plus, there were some serious questions as to whether his performance was prerecorded. His masked image was broadcast on a huge screen, and it was unclear whether it was even a live broadcast because he never held up a newspaper with the night's date on it. Though most hip-hop names make their way down here eventually, don't hold your breath for MF Doom. He hasn't entered the United States since he was denied reentry in 2012 over citizenship issues.

4. Anohni

Neither as Anohni nor as her pre-gender-reassignment handle of Antony and the Johnsons has the award-winning avant-garde singer made her way to Miami. It's a shame — with the sun beating down on us, we could sure use that hauntingly gorgeous voice to send chills down our spines. Surely, some promoter during Art Basel can finagle a venue and an audience for this unique soul.

Don't think we've forgotten about you, Lorde.
Don't think we've forgotten about you, Lorde.
Photo Courtesy of the Windish Agency

3. Lorde

Sure, her native New Zealand is really, really far away, but after Lorde embarked on an extensive U.S. tour throughout 2013 and 2014, it hurts our feelings that she chose to sit out Florida. But we're sure it's only a matter of time before the 19-year-old superstar, still not even old enough to drink, makes her way to the 305.

2. Yusuf Islam

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens never made it to Miami to sing "Wild World" and his other folk classics during his '70s heyday. In 1972 he got to Tampa, and in '76 Lakeland, but never farther south. After converting to Islam and changing his name to Yusuf Islam, he forsook the stage for decades. He finally returned to an American venue in 2009 and followed that performance with many U.S. shows, but he still hasn't played this neck of the woods.

Björk has, shockingly, never played Miami.
Björk has, shockingly, never played Miami.

1. Björk

This is the most surprising and disappointing name on the list. Björk is truly our white whale — no offense, of course. Her itinerary of past U.S. concerts is a dozen pages long on setlist.fm, but without a single Florida entry. Not even with her former group the Sugarcubes has Björk played here. Perhaps with the Icelandic airline WOW Air now offering dirt-cheap flights from Miami, we can crowdfund her way down here.


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