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Nouvelle Vague Speak the Universal Language of Lust at Grand Central Miami, November 2

Nouvelle Vague

Presented by the Rhythm Foundation

Grand Central, Miami

Friday, November 2, 2012

Better Than: Watching a punk and/or new wave band cover Bossa Nova standards.

When French musicians Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux sat down and drew the blueprint for Nouvelle Vague, we bet they had a "Eureka!" moment when the songwriters looked up from their graph paper, deeply into each other's eyes and then simultaneously exclaimed (in French), "Miami is gonna love this."

Alright, maybe it wasn't that calculated. But aside from Miami Sound Machine and 2 Live Crew, can you think of a sonic style more representative of the Magic City lifestyle than Nouvelle Vague? It's chic but retro. It's punk, though instead of keeping your eyes peeled for stage-divers, your pupils are glued to the babes coyly slinking around onstage.

Forget Calle Ocho and South Beach. This troupe plays the sound of Brickell, Wynwood, and the Design District, the lyrical edge of punk rock tempered by the perfectly coiffed sensual decadence of Bossa. Imagine having the best sex of your life, but not sweating a drop. That's what Nouvelle Vague sounds like.

There were, however, shades of variance. The Violent Femmes' "Blister" and Billie Idol's "Dancing With Myself" were transformed into chic mod-pop numbers half a skip away from becoming Broadway and/or holiday music. The trio of female vocalists -- two anchoring the stage at opposite ends, and a third writhing around the stage like a beatnik Bathsheba -- executed their renditions with maximum erotic breathiness.

However, Nouvelle Vague toyed with another mode -- red hot, knuckle-clenching lust. Oh, the Cramps' "Human Fly" and Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" have never before been sung by people who sounded so clean.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Almond milk latte-drinking Brickellers, Ladies Night!, Smellgoods.

From the Stage: "Flies buzz around your head when you have shit thoughts."

Nouvelle Vague's Setlist

-"Lullaby"

-"Blister"

-"Dancing With Myself"

-"Blue Monday"

-"Forest"

-"Human Fly" / "Outro"

-"Master and Servant"

-"Ceremonial"

-"Precious"

-"Mariann"

-"Guns of Brixton"

-"Dance With Me"

-"Bicycle"

-"Ou Veux-Tu"

-"Just Can't Get Enough"

-"Escape Myself"

-"Last Romantics"

-"Too Drunk To Fuck"

Encore

-"Oublions L'Amerique"

-"Ever Fallen in Love"

-"Love Will Tear Us Apart"

-"In A Manner"

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