Did you make it to New Times' Miami Music Festival thing at the Stage last night? If not, there could be a few reasons.
For starters, it was only open to "Very Important People." (Boo, right?) Next, maybe you failed to secure tickets with the Rock the Bus tour. (Boo twice.) And last, we here at Crossfade fucked up and provided you with the wrong address. (Boo thrice.)
After loading up on complimentary booze and unlimited schmooze, singer Johnny Saraiva and the rest of the Dagger dudes stumbled onto the stage at the Stage.
In one corner of the club, some of the (already wasted?) Rock the Bus tour members humped each other and pretended to enjoy the music. In another corner, people chatted politely. Up front, Lil Daggers ripped that fucker up.
A note: Even though Johnny was howling like a werewolf on steroids, you could barely hear him at times. Several other sound screw-ups followed.
The Heartstrings set was the sonic low-point of the night. Not because the music sucked, but because the bass and vocals cut out repeatedly on every single song, except one. (See above.)
Nevertheless, the band handled these technical difficulties admirably, powering through a bunch of its short, punky songs ("Love Is an STD," "Calle Ocho," "Oh Yeah!") while occasionally haranguing the sound guy, saying stuff like: "C'mon, motherfucker. Turn up the bass! Can we turn up the bass? Fuck! Fix the levels! Fuck!"
Crossfade approves of the Heartstrings' bad attitude.
Next, Teepee (AKA Eric Lopez-Zareno) played some tunes. And as we hinted in our VIP party preview, he didn't come alone, enlisting Deaf Poets and Sarah of Little Beard to help out.
It had been a while since we'd seen Teepee perform anything other than a solo set. And we'd sorta forgotten the drastic difference between his full band stuff and other modes of operation.
Depending when and where you catch Mr. Lopez-Zareno, you might get man-and-guitar moments, deep trance drone experiments, or some reverby rock 'n' roll. But last night, it was all about dense, spiraling indie tuneage.
Bonus! Even though Deaf Poets wasn't originally scheduled to play, the band went undercover as part of Teepee's entourage, gaining access to the stage at the Stage. And then as the previous set ended, the Poets refused to leave and slashed through two surprise songs.