Ten Bands That Have Tragically Never Played Miami

For a very long time, Miami has faced one big obstacle when it comes to live music: geography.

Björk is truly our white whale — no offense, of course.

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The fact is, it takes a lot of convincing for a band to drive all the way down to the tip of Florida. From a financial perspective, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why waste all that gas and time commuting to South Beach when you can make just as much scratch stopping in Atlanta or New Orleans?

Or if you do decide to dip past Orlando, why not just stop in Broward? It's a decent market with adequate venues. To sum it up, nobody needs to come to Miami. Bands come to Miami because they want to.

But there's good news: Bands want to perform in Miami more and more each year. The rise of the Miami arts scene, III Points, Winter Music Conference, Art Basel, and the whole no-snow thing has been making the Magic City more attractive than ever. And in the past five years, Miami has seen just about every major touring act in the nation.

Still, there are some holdouts.

10. Tame Impala

These Australian psychedelic maestros have been around for less than a decade, so — considering the band's recent heavy American festival touring schedule — there is hope they could make their way here one day. But for seven straight years, they've played just about every major music market in the States except here. Let's hope they can add Miami to their itinerary next year. There sure would be a hell of a fit for III Points 2017.

9. Kate Bush

This one is kind of a cheat because the English chanteuse has played America a grand total of once. And that was on Saturday Night Live in December 1978. Her return to the stage in 2014 after a two-decade-plus hiatus gives fans hope that maybe she might play America properly one day. A city can dream, right?

8. The Gorillaz

Though we swear we saw its cartoon image on a Wynwood Wall one time, Damon Albarn's animated supergroup has never played Florida. But with a new album speculated to drop in 2017, maybe there's hope yet. Come to think of it, Ultra has been on a real reunion kick lately. Gorillaz on the main stage, please?

7. Aphex Twin

Another recluse from the stage, the British electronic music savant hasn't played on U.S. soil since Coachella in 2008. But Miami, with its love of all things electronic, would be a fitting place for his return. Maybe WMC 2017? It seems Ultra would have deep enough pockets to cure Richard D. James of his shyness.

6. The Sea and Cake

Probably the most obscure act on this list, the Chicago indie jazz-rock quartet makes beautiful noise to which anyone who has felt an ounce of angst can relate. The band tours often, but unfortunately South Florida has yet to experience that angst firsthand. In a 20-year career, the closest the Sea and Cake came to Miami was a 2003 show in Orlando. Winter is coming to Chicago as we speak — perhaps now is the time for a tropical vacation.

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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland