On the eve of Easter, Miami was blessed with the most beautiful, sweaty, and queer show the city has possibly ever seen. As the clock struck midnight on Saturday, calling an end to Semana Santa's pious restraint, restorative vibes from Gooddroid, Poorgrrrl, Junglepussy, and Le1f rained down upon Bardot's intimate dance floor.
Gooddroid, who went to Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School but now lives in Brooklyn, got the night started with house and bass. I knew it would be a good night when fabulously dressed Le1f fans began undulating against lounge chairs. The hype was strong.
"Le1f and Junglepussy are killing it. They're queer and POC. We have to support these kinds of shows," says Alex Spacagna, an artist from Miami who attended the show.
In that moment, the lights dimmed, and a spotlight revealed Poorgrrrl, sitting cross-legged atop a wall in the back. She sang a jazz rendition of "We Trashy" while two performance artists made out next to her, throwing Poorgrrrl into a frenzy. She hopped off the wall in mimicked disgust, leaving queens in the crowd to shout "Work it, girl!"
"I have this thing with pity," Tara Long, AKA Poorgrrrl, told us before the show. "Poorgrrrl is abrasive. I want to flip 'poor' from being a negative to being positive. I want to fuck with your expectations."
Poorgrrrl, Long's performance art project, has brought future beat to Miami. Her music is bass-heavy, and she spews what she calls "broken word."
"It's not spoken word. It's kind of like really destructive the way that I write. As soon as things start making too much sense, I mess it up," says Long. "She's my stage to express fucked-up emotions I feel are kind of universal."
After Poorgrrrl descended from her impromptu elevated throne, Gooddroid came back for more bass. Cue the vogue-off. Miami's futuristic and fashionable were out in full force, rocking frosted white tips and spiked platforms. This is the crowd that performers like Junglepussy and Le1f attract: the good-vibes fam.
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The last time I saw Junglepussy perform, it was at a free show at Target First Saturdays, a monthly event at the Brooklyn Museum. Around 50 people sat in rows in the museum's first-floor lobby. Junglepussy shared the stage with DJ Joey Labeija, with more than enough space for her aura to flow freely. The crowd watched passively from their seats, with the occasional person getting up to dance with the goddess. This was not the case at Bardot.
Bardot's main stage is really just a quaint square. As Junglepussy emerged, there was nothing blocking the crowd from dancing with her. So, they did. But JP didn't mind; this is what she loves. She wiped sweat off her face and stayed hydrated with a nearby water bottle.
The Brooklyn-born rapper loves Miami. This was her first show here, but she vacations on South Beach all the time.
"Miami, you're cute. You have palm trees," she told Bardot.
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Around 1:30 a.m., Le1f finally took the floor. He was wearing a floor-length white fur coat. Probably not a good idea for the mosh pit he was about to perform in. He quickly took it off.
"Turn the music up," he shouted.
After the loss of Grand Central, Miami clearly does not have a space conducive for this type of show: something not too big, not too small. While Bardot's intimate square allowed the crowd to literally dance with Junglepussy and Le1f, I can't imagine it was comfortable for them. Miami needs a venue where performers can play with enough space to do their thing without being devoured by fans.
But that didn't stop Le1f. Somehow, two backup dancers performed behind him, enticing the crowd and keeping the energy up at all times. By the end of his set, all boundaries between the crowd were lost. We encircled him, feeding off each other's energies, moshing together until he had to leave. Hopefully, he'll be back soon.