Miami Horror redefined high energy Wednesday night at The Independent with a raucous set that had the crowd dancing deep into the night. When I say the show was worth the wait I’m referring both to the 11:25 set start time on a school night and the fact that I have been trying to see the group for about four years and kept missing their shows. A few extra yawns on Thursday were definitely worth it to see this band turn the stage and audience into a jungle gym, blasting our brains with impossibly catchy synth-disco-funk.
Before the show I had the opportunity to interview Ben Plant producer/founder/bassist extraordinaire for the group. He talked about the groups recent move from Australia to LA, and of the journey to find and fine tune their unique sound. Anyone familiar with Australian synth pop will immediately see the similarities between groups like Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, Gypsy and the Cat, etc. But while Miami Horror can bring down the house with a dance jam just like the others I mentioned, they also bring a unique flair. The disco influence is undeniable and infectious, but what really surprises you is just how psychedelic the guys get up there. It’s feels kind of like that scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly plays some Van Halen style guitar with the motown band, but in this case they are a disco band and McFly starts jamming some Tame Impala.
While they may be working on their musical approach, their stage show is a well-developed, beautiful shitshow. The singers Josh Moriarty and Aaron Shanahan took turns crawling all over back speakers, drum kit and pretty much whatever was nearby. Of course there was crowd surfing and Aaron even sang two verses of a song while being held aloft by the crowd. At one point I think they were even on top of the bar at the back of the venue. It forms a funny dichotomy because Ben is pretty much all business up there.
Musically they played a lot of their new stuff from All Possible Futures which was great, but my favorite moment was when they played “Sometimes” and “Holidays” from Illumination back-to-back. This was what I had been waiting four years to see live, and I think I may have blacked out for about ten minutes dancing with the rest of the lunatics in the crowd. This is definitely a show that should be on your radar next time they are town, words can’t do it justice.