With Jacuzzi Boys
Fillmore Miami Beach
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Better Than: All of those other vampiric pop-culture creatures feasting on the blood of the millennial generation.
A fat, crooked queue of teens and post-teens stretched from the Fillmore Miami Beach's doorstep to 17th Street before veering around the corner and snaking down the block.
The kids were chattering, giggling, snapping pics. And yes, they were actually all hyped up for an indie rock show.
Quite honestly, it's been, like, forever since we here at Crossfade have witnessed a mob of young adults expressing such effervescent enthusiasm for a nice evening of guitar-, bass-, drums-, and doodads-based music in Miami.
Sure, this past year's two-night stand from Arcade Fire (as the Reflektors) elicited extreme effusiveness from local rock fans. But even that crowd was a bit too old to serve as an especially apt point of comparison.
In fact, it might be necessary to zip back to 2010, when MGMT, Phoenix, and LCD Soundsystem all visited the Fillmore in just a few short weeks, for the last indie-ish shows that inspired a full-blown, 21-and-under fan frenzy.
Last night, though, as one totally overwhelmed girl screeched: "OMG! OMG! OMG! Vampire Weeeeeeeeeeeekend!"
However, the party started with our own hometown rock 'n' roll heroes.
"Hello, boys and girls! We're Jacuzzi Boys from Miami, F.L.A.," frontguy Gabriel Alcala said, introducing the crew in his special sneeringly stoked way. "Thank you soooooo much."
The set lasted just over 30 minutes. But the Boys ripped through eight fuzzy faves from the back catalog, including "No Seasons," "Smells Dead," "Glazin'," "Bricks or Coconuts," and "Double Vision," while Gabriel moaned gems like, "This one's for the loverrrs," and blew half-sarcastic kisses into the crowd.
The Jacuzzis also showed off some unheard stuff. "This is a new song," Alcala chirped, "called 'Happy Damage.'"
And later, Gabriel, bass player Danny Gonzalez, and drummer Diego Monasterios even covered the man who once praised them by saying, "It's a stupid name, but they've got a good spirit."
"This next one's for Iggy Pop, by Iggy Pop," the singer shouted. "It's called 'Fun Time," so have a fun time 'cause it's fun to have fun."
A mini-pit churned. Some Miami kids tossed fists in the air for the locals. And after two more quick cuts and a signature Alcala brain-dead bobblehead gag, it was finally time for "OMG! OMG! OMG! Vampire Weeeeeeeeeeeekend!"
A beer and a cigarette later, the lights went out, indicating the imminent arrival of Vampire Weekend. And suddenly, the mob launched into waves of wild, crazy screeches, as if some kind of animal was being ripped apart in the Fillmore.
Seriously, the audience response was savage; the sort of freakout typically reserved for Ultra Music Festival among today's 13 to 21 year olds. There were girls shaking and shedding tears. Bros howled like bloodsuckers in their newly bought Modern Vampires of the City tank tops. A human bubble machine began blowing soapy spheres and never stopped.
After only the first few songs, a mound of teeny boppers' bras (with phone numbers and email address written in magic marker on the inside of the cup) lay at Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig's tastefully leather-clad toes.
Meanwhile, the indie band of the night was a total contrast to its spazzed-out crowd.
"Hello!" Koenig said, softly, welcoming the fans like a nice, polite, young gentleman. "Good evening, Miami. Nice to see you."
Then he and bandmates Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio bopped about the stage in a smiling, subdued way, neatly arranged before a white, columned stage set and beneath an enormous ornate mirror like miniaturized entertainers in the salon of a gilded-age mansion, skipping through their fizzy, masterfully spun pop-rock confections, from "Diane Young" to "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," "Holiday," "Finger Back," and "Horchata."
That part was all very civilized.
But the tenor of the whole scene had started to settle down too.
Fans of the band's age, 30-ish and older, had filtered into the Fillmore and filled the rear of the theater, nodding along to the tunes, sipping a Pabst, slouching in a seat.
Koenig and his crew also slipped into a fine and easy pace as they frolicked through "Cousins," "California English," and "A-Punk" -- though that last song inspired the manic throwing of fists, as well as the evening's first and only bouts of stage-crashing and -diving.
The party wound down. The screeches became intermittent. And we here at Crossfade finally noticed that drummer Tomson was rocking an O, Miami tee, shouting out the 305's preeminent poetry festival and perhaps acknowledging Vampire Weekend's reputation as the contemporary poets of modern indie rock.
Appropriately, Koenig and his mates then tossed off the song that made the phrase "Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?" famous. They followed with "Giving Up the Gun" and finished with "Obvious Bicycle."
But the teens and post-teens and 30-somethings weren't ready to return home. And there was much freaking out till Vampire Weekend relented with a three-song encore, a jaunty sing-along, and a polite goodbye from Ezra that didn't include any promises about phoning or emailing the owners of all those bras.
"We've loved it, Miami," he smirked. "And you're lovely."
Personal Bias: I became a teen in late '96, when indie rock was still sorta the shit.
Jacuzzi Boys' Setlist:
-"Bricks or Coconuts"
-"Fun Time" (Iggy Pop Cover)
-"Blow Out Your Lights"
Vampire Weekend's Setlist:
-"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"
-"I Stand Corrected"
-"Giving Up the Gun"
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