As we wrap up 2010, Crossfade looks back at the best live performances of the year. View the full list of Miami's Best Concerts of 2010.
October 26, 2010
Bayfront Park Amphitheater
Even before the actual music started, the Massive Attack/Thievery Corporation double bill at Bayfront Park Amphitheater was a success, thanks to the size of the audience. While MGMT played a sold-out show across the bridge at the Fillmore, thousands of fans still packed the park's sprawling lawn, proving that Miami could finally support multiple major touring acts in one night.
That both acts at Bayfront delivered surprisingly lively performances only added to the triumphant feeling of the evening. Thievery Corporation, in particular, surprised by veering away from straight downtempo, coming off as more of a dub sound system with a rotating cast of vocalists.
Massive Attack, though, riveted from the start, with a moody set that went heavy on social commentary. The group has never shied away from either political commentary or technology. And for this tour, it combined both into a jaw-dropping light and visual show. During songs like "Teardrop" and "Mezzanine," a massive LED backdrop flashed colored stadium lights, news snippets, and morphing graphics. The clear musical and emotional peak of the show, however, came during "Inertia Creeps," which featured a customized feed of local headlines, including several from New Times.
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What we said:
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What [Massive Attack] spent most of the time doing ... is broadcasting a series of haiku-like bits of words that, over time, would build up to impressionistic critiques of everything from the oil industry, to corporate America, to war, torture, immigration issues, and so on ... The biggest boos and disapproval, however, were saved for the logo of BP, which stayed up on screen the longest and closed out the show. This was gloomy, yes, but wisely bridged a mental and emotional gap between the band, which hails from the company's homeland, and the audience, who lived in the face of the oil spill specter for months. Perhaps it was heavy-handed, but in a pop music climate of aggressive escapism, we need bands like Massive Attack to yank us back to a reality that needs work.