III Points Festival

III Points 2022 Day One: LCD Soundsystem Finally Performed at the Festival

LCD Soundsystem finally took the stage at III Points.
LCD Soundsystem finally took the stage at III Points. Photo by Jake Pierce
If last year's III Points was plagued with logistical issues, the 2022 edition sought to rectify all that. Even going through the general-admission entrance was a breeze this year. (Perhaps that had to do more with the fact that nobody was required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, therefore expediting entry.) There were also water stations scattered throughout the grounds, and with indoor spaces like the skating rink, Le Rouge, and Despacio, crowds were better dispersed.

The Main Frame stage last year was a nightmare thanks to the tight space, but those issues seemed to have been fixed. Some of that had to do with the fact that III Points avoided putting acts that would draw enormous crowds on the stage, and it also nixed last year's VIP area toward the back. All of this made for a much more pleasant experience.

Friday also brought music, of course. From Porter Robinson's heartfelt electronic beats to Homeshake's somewhat handicapped set, fans had their pick. The highlight of the evening was LCD Soundsystem's headlining set. Anyone who knows the festival's history knows the band was supposed to headline the festival in 2016, but the threat of Hurricane Matthew saw the band cancel its appearance. (The festival still managed to go on that year even without LCD Soundsystem.)

Here's what else we witnessed on the first day of III Points:

Pink Siifu

When Pink Siifu told New Times not to expect anything during his debut performance at III Points, all I could think about was what he planned to drop. Was it going to be a hip-hop-meets-punk-thrasher combo? Or was he going to go with his more tame brand of hip-hop combined with elements of cosmic jazz and Prince-like sexuality? Well, it was all of that and more. During his 40-minute set, Siifu brought the familiar trap-laden hip-hop we know and love while also speeding up the tempo to display his polished rhyming style. He soared through his discography with songs like "Fk U Mean/Hold Me Dwn" off 2021's Gumbo'! Siffu and his longtime collaborator Peso Gordon kept the audience bouncing at the Main Frame stage with few breaks between songs. He ended with "Lng Hair Dnt Care," singing and dancing with aplomb to the crowd. Grant Albert

La Femme

With the band wearing ensembles of black-and-white suits and blazers, Biarritz-born act La Femme commenced at 7:30 p.m. with a crescendoing introductory instrumental of castanets and a very enthusiastic "Hello Mi-ya-mi!" Each member stood front and center to perform their own vocal or instrumental solo throughout the one-hour set. As the funky, jagged dancing on stage trickled into the crowd by cofounder Marlon Magnée's active engagement with the audience, La Femme catalyzed a Y2K coming-of-age film sequence in the gradually growing crowd and attendance to the Sector 3 Stage. Complete with a blinking pink-and-blue background, both zingy numbers, such as "Cool Colorado" from the band's 2021 album Paradigmes, joined together with the dreamy breeze of song previews from the upcoming November 4 release of the band's fourth album, Teatro Lúcido. One particular song, "Sacatela," was introduced with a rhetorical question for the Miami audience: "Does anybody here speak Spanish?" We all know the answer to that one, monsieur. Isabella Marie Garcia
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James Blake
Photo by Jake Pierce

James Blake

Can’t really expect a Miami show to go all the way through without the standard technical difficulties. The early part of James Blake’s set was plagued by faulty earpieces, leaving the drummer and keyboardist idle as Blake virtuosically improvised piano covers on the spot. A heartening rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” was a warm, tender embrace amid all of the confusion, and funnily enough, it’ll probably be the closest we’ll get to seeing Frank live here anytime soon. Blake’s attempts at keeping the Band-Aid on the performance visibly bred frustration from the Londoner, but it was nice to see him piece together an exoskeleton of “Mild High Club," his collaboration with Travis Scott. A random cameo from Atlanta rapper and collaborator Swavay breathed life into the crowd, buying time for Blake and Co. to eventually click and find their sweet spot with the pulsating post-dubstep of “Klavierwerk.” The few fully fleshed-out tracks at the end were kinetic, frantically rhythmic, and worth the wait for sure. Olivier Lafontant
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Uncle Luke
Photo by Jake Pierce

Uncle Luke, Trick Daddy, and Trina

One of the most endearing aspects of III Points is that no matter how big the festival gets, it never forgets its Miami roots. Contemporary local acts have always been well-represented, but Friday night was a chance to pay homage to the OGs. Running about 30 minutes behind schedule, Uncle Luke finally took the Main Frame stage around 9 p.m. and ran through debauched classics "Me So Horny," "Hoochie Mama," and "I Wanna Rock," among others. Trick Daddy also made an appearance, performing "I'm a Thug" and "Nann." Trina joined for the latter, eliciting the loudest crowd reaction of the all-too-short set. Trina appeared genuinely touched by the reverent reception, especially when Uncle Luke congratulated her on her recent I Am Hip Hop Award, a lifetime achievement recognition, at the BET Music Awards. One low point: the absence of "Take It to da House" — a massive oversight for this celebration of all things 305. Celia Almeida

The Marías

As the last show of the Los Angeles band's Cinema Tour, the Marías delivered a range of hits, such as "Calling You Back" and "Cariño," interspersed with a cover of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" and the band's Bad Bunny collab, "Otro Atardecer." Lead singer Maria Zardoya emphasized a need to compete with the beating techno of the nearby S3quenc3 stage and declared how special it was to join forces with Bad Bunny as a boricua herself. Draped in a red mummy-like strappy corset and sarong two-piece, which got caught momentarily in the mic stand onstage, the Marías became the winners of the night in their handling of a dubious audio setup. Zardoya commanded the system to level out its sound, either higher in volume or lower in intensity, through subtle and swift hand movements as she kept the audience swaying in a sweet rhythmic fashion. The crowd might not have been able to compete with the sonic boom from the neighboring stages, but it won the loyalty of the act as they expressed their genuine appreciation for the warm welcome throughout the set. Isabella Marie Garcia

Porter Robinson

Porter Robinson defected from his dubstep origins long before releasing his critically acclaimed album, Nurture, last year, leaping into the emotional underbelly of electronic music. Onstage he was a one-person band — playing a piano one moment, managing his live DJ set in another, and taking to the mic throughout his set to sing and uplift the crowd. At times the set felt like it would be long, drawn-out ambient pads, then exploded into old Atari-sounding climaxes as he bounced from tracks like "Musician" to "Sad Machine." Robinson would run to the piano before a song ended to lead into the next one. He also took moments to engage in heart-to-hearts with the crowd, be it about the meaning of the next song or giving high praise to III Points. Whatever the outcome, the balmy, gooey feelings were floating in the air as hypersonic melodies blanketed all who were present. Grant Albert

Freddie Gibbs

Freddie Gibbs is an MC in peak form and he knows it enough to let you know about it, too. His entrance to Mark Morrison’s "Return of the Mack" amid the typical “Freddie! Freddie!” chants from the crowd speaks for itself. Gibbs’ confidence was glaring, chains gleaming, head shining, and rapping ability as sharp as it could be. The Indiana rapper flew through the start of every song acapella, spitting full verses even before the suave piano backdrops and electric guitar loops of The Alchemist graced the speakers. It felt like watching a star athlete put up shots in a half-empty gym as his voice bellowed on its own. The luster of “Scottie Beam” and “Something to Rap About” were completely overpowered by bass heavy enough to start a damn hurricane (“Too Much” made my skeleton vibrate), but it was cool nonetheless. It’s refreshing to see a rapper really rap his ass off on stage as opposed to ad-libbing their own backtrack. Olivier Lafontant
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Miss Kittin & the Hacker
Photo by Jake Pierce

Miss Kittin & the Hacker

History repeating itself is not always bad — French electronic icons Miss Kittin & the Hacker are living proof. Fresh off their latest project, Third Album, the duo transformed the Mad Max-style S3quenc3 stage into a new-wave goth haven. The smoldering synths lines and pounding bass imparted the feeling of a genuine rave. Miss Kittin sang over cuts like "Stripper" and "19" as she and the Hacker transported everyone back into the early aughts. The crowd, laden with tattoos, piercings, spikes, and jet-black mascara, only seemed to add to the atmosphere. Each transition was distinctive, with a new layer being brought to the fore either through a buzzy synth, hissing hi-hat, or thunderous clap to contrast Miss Kittin's vocal work. It was nothing short of violent bursts of energy among the steel skeleton of the S3quenc3 stage and a cloudy night sky overhead. Grant Albert

Kenny Beats

Some of the most fun to be had all night definitely came at the hands of Kenny Beats, a producer and DJ who flexed his extensive knack for the most obscure pockets of hip-hop, trap, R&B, dance, and EDM. There's a degree of difficulty that comes with flexing his eclectic selection in a way that makes sense, but Kenny's easygoing nature made it seem like breathing air. He leaned heavily on his favorite cuts from Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem, blending "Family Ties" and "Range Brothers" with fluid, thumping house beats. Mixes of Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction" and Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" are always euphoric in a club setting, but placing them in the same setlist as Playboi Carti's "Beef" and Young Thug's "Danny Glover" was a moment of beautiful confusion that Kenny has turned into his novelty. Plus, there's no possibility of sitting through a rap DJ set in Florida without hearing XXXTentacion's "Take a Step Back" and Kodak Black's "No Flockin'," a track Kenny said he's waited years to play live in Miami. Did I rap along to Kodak's whole verse to close out the set? Of course I did. Olivier Lafontant

La Goony Chonga

Dominican rapper Tokischa recently declared, "Ser perra está de moda," and it's true that from "WAP" to bichotas and bebesotas, oversexed ratchetería is having a moment. La Goony Chonga has been at that game longer than most with tongue-in-cheek Latin trap and reggaeton odes to perreo and chongitonas long before those terms hit the U.S. mainstream. Goony opened her Main Frame set by wishing Celia Cruz a happy birthday as she wrapped a shimmering Cuban flag around her waist. From there, the set became an unabashed celebration of Miami at its tackiest: There were shiny hotpants. There were see-through stripper heels. There were bralettes with bedazzled fringe. Most of all, there was plenty of "Chongivity Activity." It reached its apex with a surprise cameo from certified 305 aughts royalty and YouTube parody pioneers the Chonga Girls, who crashed the set to perform a verse from 2007's "Chongalicious" to the delight of every Miami millennial in the crowd. Celia Almeida
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LCD Soundsystem
Photo by Jake Pierce

LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy's entire career revolves around the anxiety of getting older. One day, you're a kid trying to figure out your place in the New York City music scene, and the next, you're the elder statesman of dance-rock and the voice of an entire generation. I hate to describe LCD Soundsystem as a "legacy act" because that would be admitting my own status as a geriatric millennial — but, alas, that's what they are, and rightfully so. The band kicked off its set at the Mind Melt stage with "Get Innocuous!" off of 2007's Sound of Silver and took the audience through a catalog of their hits, including "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," "Yr City's a Sucker," "Tribulations," "Losing My Edge," and "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down." By the time the band dove into "Dance Yrself Clean" toward the end, it felt like a cathartic release of emotion that had been building up throughout the entire set. We are all getting older, and we just have to deal with it. Jose D. Duran

Madeon

When DJ/producer Madeon broke the news early this week on Twitter that III Points "could not accommodate" his Good Faith Forever live show and would, instead, deliver a boilerplate DJ set, it seemed like certain death. But when you stepped into the sea of people swarming the RC Cola stage to get a glimpse of Madeon, all seemed to be forgiven. The Frenchman used his 90-minute slot time to deliver the big-room DJ energy that felt comparable to that other Miami music festival in March. He took to the mic repeatedly and drove quickly down musical avenues ranging from drum 'n' bass percussive loops to "Mr. Blue Sky" by the Electric Light Orchestra. The crowd was transfixed by whatever he dropped, including his collaboration with Porter Robinson, which Robinson also dropped during his set earlier. There were no pitchforks when the news broke or any mention of it by Madeon during his performance. Instead, it felt more like a happy little accident and him indirectly saying, "Maybe not this time, but you know I will be coming back to Miami very soon." Grant Albert
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Shygirl
Photo by Jake Pierce

Shygirl

If the Mind Melt stage appealed to aging millennials, then Shygirl's performance at the Main Frame stage was for the new generation. Dressed in black, the British singer ran through her small yet deceivingly strong music catalog, opening with "Woe" from her debut album, Nymph. She slinked across the stage as she went through "Slime," "Freak," "Nike," and "Shult" while providing some banter between each track. By the time she went into "Coochie (A Bedtime Story)," the crowd was eating out of her hand. And with the bass rumbling and her vocal coating the RC Cola plant, it almost seemed like a siren call for anyone within earshot to come in and listen. And as she closed out her set with "BDE," she turned everything into a deliciously dark dance party as she demanded, "Read my lips, I need a big dick boy" — it felt more like a threat than foreplay. Jose D. Duran
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Homeshake bassist Brad Loughead
Photo by Jake Pierce

Homeshake

Taking the stage at the sore-feet hour of 1:15 a.m, Peter Sagar's solo musical project was introduced with a frank admission by the frontman that he had forgotten two critical pieces of his vocal setup amid a detailed iPhone list. Visibly frazzled and annoyed by the necessary equipment's absence, Sagar checked in with the crowd, asking, "Is everyone OK? Am I OK? Playing festival sets is interesting and tricky." Despite the less-than-optimal sound system, Homeshake brought a relaxed, slow fizzle out to the evening with a mix of devotees huddled at the barricade and a lawn filled with groups laying on the grass dwindling in energy and seeking a calm closing sway to the overwhelming festival. Curating a chronological range of tunes from their trajectory, from "I Know I Know I Know" to "She Can't Leave Me Here Alone Tonight" and even paying tribute to Deftones through their twist on the song "Change (In The House of Flies)," birds were chirping by the sleepy culminating end. Despite a now-deleted apologetic tweet by Sagar noting, "i guess i owe uall another concert down here one day, but for now goodbye forever," Homeshake is sure to be encouraged to return to perform in Miami once again. Isabella Marie Garcia
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Grant Albert is a writer born and raised in Miami. He likes basset hounds, techno, and rock climbing — in that order.
Contact: Grant Albert
Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida
Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran
Olivier Lafontant is an intern for Miami New Times. He's pursuing a bachelor's in digital journalism at Florida International University. He specializes in music writing and photography and got his start as a writer for South Florida Media Network in 2021.

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