The night opened with an all-female percussion group, Gainesville's Cave Rave. A cave rave is apparently the opposite of a sausage fest. The place was pleasantly packed and it was neither a cave rave, nor a sausage fest.
Relaxed yet tight and totally stuffed with talent, a night with Tom Tom, the magazine about female drummers and beat-makers, was pretty much the perfect party to close out Art Basel Miami Beach. It was a lot of fun.
Needless Records' Adam Gersten helped his friend Mindy Abovitz, founder of Tom Tom Magazine, organize the show. The plan: A night fit for out of towers and locals that, according to him, "wasn't the typical lineup."
Abovitz, a South Florida native down from New York, revealed that she learned a few things herself from the bands. Apparently, 16-year-old Rage Paige of all-girl group Siren taught Abovitz about the new term "beast" which is, according to her is, "our rad."
Siren is a high-school band from South Florida who performed half covers and half original songs. Their parents enjoyed a view from the front row.
Next was West Palm Beach's Bonnie Riot followed by crowd pleasers State Of. Drummer Nabedi Osorio was chatty, asking the crowd to clap their hands for all the ladies beating the shit out of the drums. The Miami duo harmonized and pounded out some radio-ready songs.
And then Frankie Rose, formerly of the Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, and Crystal Stilts, played a lovely, stripped-down, echo-y set and sang dreamy vocals alongside a male bassist.
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A little later, Austin's Follow That Bird created what a friend termed "Amazonian prog rock." They certainly rocked. Local ladies Snakehole took the stage and pounded out some punk-spiked-with-metal goodness. Autumn Casey's vocals were sounding fierce and drummer KC Toimil brought everything together.
For anyone who left at this point, you missed Holly Hunt, which is very sad for you. Artists Beatriz Monteavaro and Gavin Perry rounded out their very busy Art Basel week schedules with Tom Tom. They were wonderful, as always. Though tired, Betty still smiled during all the dark, heavy parts and made drumming look like the most awesome activity ever. It's so easy to drown in Holly Hunt's music.
Abovitz said that she can't wait to come back next year. She told us, "all the bands were incredible. Miami brought it." There's nothing we can do but totally agree.