Simply put, Deaf Poets won Sweatstock 2012.
There was crowd chatter before the show about how well the band's two-person brand of rough, throat-shredding garage rock would translate to an outdoor stage.
And it took a couple of songs for Deaf Poets to warm up. But not long into their set, Deaf Poets exploded into an adenoidal fury of distortion and drum abuse.
Deaf Poets thrives off that kind of tension. The songs are catchy yet furious, danceable yet brutally tough, rooted in classical structure yet turned over to chaos. They'll soon be releasing a proper record via Sweat Records' new in-house label and it'll be interesting to hear how well they're able to capture their crackling live show.
Pool Party has to be Miami's smartest stupid band, a disgustingly talented supergroup (stuporgroup?) dedicated to silly voices, stage banter interrupted by music (rather than the other way around), and a kickass arsenal of punk songs about pool parties and the sociological concerns of frequenters of pool parties.
Skeptics will say, "I get it," after hearing the band's traditional opening number, which asks the timeless question: "Pool party, yeah?" (Answer: Pool party, yeah!) But the thing is that these skeptical pool party poopers don't get it. They're the kind of people who would attend an actual pool party and say, "I get it," after three minutes and then leave.
Stick around, the water's fine. And once you hear this four-headed beer commercial play live, nothing else will ever feel like an appropriate soundtrack for getting wet in public. You've been warned.
Krisp put in another flawless set of arpeggiated bleep-bloop dance pop, somehow managing to sound human and alive, in spite of all the electronics.
Though they often stretch their songs out for as long as the dance floor can keep moving, Krisp's Sweatstock performance favored tightness and songcraft, something they had in common with most of Saturday's best acts.
In a city that sees most of electronic music's best pass through while also having its own fair share of pretenders, Krisp is a rare treasure.
Even though there were plenty of (great!) bands still to come at Churchill's Pub, Afrobeta's set to close the outdoor stage could have been a fitting end to a damp and hazy Sweatstock.
Singer Cuci Amador is absurdly sexy and the music that Smurphio plays is the pure piston-firing sound of 21st century love. With Cuci's dress falling off and a bout of well-received writhing atop the PA stack, Afrobeta's music is about an omnivorous hunger for fun.
They began a playful cover of C+C Muisc Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat" in honor of the festival and then segued into a nearly non-stop run of their own songs -- plus Devo's "Whip It", a remix of the Family Guy theme song, and Nirvana's "Lithium". With the exception of the Family Guy song, any of the covers could have passed for Afrobeta originals.
At one point, the Afrobeta stage bounced under the weight of Sweatstock bands and crowd members alike who had joined the band. The duo's mission seems to be turning whatever you are and wherever you are into a party.
On Saturday night, that was Sweatstock.
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