Friday Night: Spam Allstars at Bayfront Park

Spam Allstars
Friday, March 13, 2009
Bayfront Park, Miami

Better than: Pirate's treasure.

The Miami Downtown Development Authority, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Rhythm Foundation delivered the goods yet again Friday night, at its third free Bayfront Park concert in a series of four, this time featuring acclaimed Miami electro/latin/funk collective, Spam Allstars.

Founded and led by Andrew Yeomanson, A.K.A. DJ Le Spam, the Allstars, a long-time Miami favorite, have in recent years risen to true Allstar status, playing an average of 200+ shows a year, including various international festivals and tours, as well as residencies in New York, Gainseville, Tampa, Atlanta, New Orleans and Little Havana.

With an infectious sound comprised of Miami-style bass-heavy electronic beats, atmospheric and funky guitars and samples, afrocuban percussion and jazzy horns, it's no wonder Spam Allstars have attracted a huge international following.

Friday's late afternoon show, the majority of which took place in daylight, was a change of pace for a band who typically doesn't start its first set before ten p.m. As the sun sank down into the skyline behind the stage, hoards of happy fans filled the park. People of all ages bobbed their heads in unison from their seats, or from their picnic blankets, or from the line to the bar.

And of course they danced--not only the fans, but also the band. The combined energy was surreal. It's good to see that after so many performances, they still believe in the music. Hats off to these guys for keeping it real, year after year.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Funkiness is bliss.

Random Details: Gotta love trombonist Chad Bernstein's giant golden sousaphone (wrap-around marching band tuba).

By the Way: Next month is the last show in the series: Conjunto Progreso with Arturo Sandoval Friday, April 10 5:30 p.m., Bayfront Park Tina Hills Pavilion.

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