Gig Reviews

Miami Horror, Rocket Bar – 10/11/2010

Having just returned from an international tour, Adelaide being the first stop of their whirlwind Holidays tour, I reserved my expectations of Melbourne’s indie-electronic four-piece Miami Horror.

With Adelaide’s indie scene stalwart DJ Ross Ross Ross and M. Jatzson banging out a plethora of indie party tunes with some golden oldies thrown in (Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al a precursor for things to come, but more on that later), the evening’s mood was set and an atmosphere that longed for an epic show was created. I must admit my excitement levels were on the up.

But to my dismay, I was one of only about 20 punters feeling the vibe. Staring around the room, I could only see blank, questioning gazes. Did these people actually want to be there? I suppose it mattered not.

Opening with Don’t Be On Her from their Sometimes EP, they made it clear from the outset that they felt no ill effects from their extensive touring; they were here to put on a show and did exactly that. The energy with which they played was infectious. I found myself dancing to the more unfamiliar tunes of their album simply because I was so impressed by the pleasure MH gained just from playing. Unfortunately, not everyone was affected in the same way.

I don’t want to end on this note, which is why I’ll get it off my chest now. Besides the die-hards in the front, the crowd was a major disappointment. It was as if they had all made the decision, prior to the show, that Miami Horror were going to be a massive let down. They didn’t even give them a chance. Could they not see how much MH were putting into their set? I supposed they could be excused for the show being on a weeknight. For such an intimate venue, I feel for the boys, it must have been frustrating seeing such a mediocre response.

But they persevered. As their set progressed, playing Moon Theory, Summersun, and I Look to You, the excitement of the crowd and the guys on stage seemed to grow and grow. By the time their hit single Sometimes began, it was palpable and the crowd readily erupted. ‘Where has this enthusiasm been hiding?’ I thought to myself. The boys followed this with their single of the summer, Holidays. The band’s energy had finally reached the crowd, albeit only the first five rows. The haters were still hating.

Of course, they couldn’t leave the crowd on that note. An encore was in order but considering they had performed all their commercial hits, what could they play? Whether they got the idea from it being played earlier in the night or not, I will never know, but they busted out an amazing rendition of Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al. It was possibly the best received song of the night, which was a disappointment in itself. It makes one wonder how many people there bought the album and how many downloaded the singles. Either way, it was a fun way to finish.

Like I said earlier, one of the most enjoyable parts of the gig was just watching MH perform. Forgetting about the killjoys in the crowd, this was one of the better gigs I’ve been to in a long while; they far exceeded my expectations. It may have only been at Rocket Bar in Adelaide, on a Wednesday night to boot, but MH put as much energy and veracity into their performance as would be expected if playing a sold out show at The Enmore or the Hordern Pavilion.

Given the chance, go see them! You won’t be disappointed.

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