As most New Yorkers rushed to their local Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and corner delis to stock up on supplies for the impending show storm on Friday night, the thought of some white stuff on the ground didn’t stop music fans from packing Bowery Ballroom full for the Australian synth-pop band Miami Horror, who were playing their second of two NYC dates closing out a short east coast tour here in the states.
Indie-rock band MOTHXR opened up the night. The NYC-based band brings a unique mix of indie rock and electro/synth styles that make up their very ambient rock sound. It was my first time seeing the former Gossip Girl ladies man Penn Badgley front his band, and was quick to find that his darker, brooding vocals sounded pretty good and well mixed in with the band’s overall sound. While the group has only released three singles up until this point, their set mostly contained new material that they’ll be releasing on their full-length debut early this year.
Miami Horror’s set started a little later in the night, but 11pm is nothing to New Yorkers on a Friday night when there’s dancing to be had and an impending snow storm approaching. Having been my first time seeing the band, I was blown away by their sound that made me feel like I walked into a full on dance club expecting the music to be pumped out of some dude’s laptop, alas there I was, surrounded by Miami Horror fans enjoying the blend of funk, disco, EDM, and indie rock that was coming from the five performers on stage.
Coming right out the gate with songs of their new album, All Possible Features, starting out with “American Dream” then going right for the jugular with the disco-era jam “I Look To You” and “Love Like Mine,” and just like the everyone in the packed venue was moving and feeling like it was a hot summer night in Miami circa 1988.
Throughout the show, the mix of wavy guitars, static keys and synths, wild percussion, and an overall house party meets disco meets dance-pop vibe could not have made the outside cold more irrelevant. As the set moved into other news songs like “Real Slow,” “Sometimes,” and “Wild Motion (Set It Free),” singer/guitarist Josh Moriarty’s frontman talents were in full effect. The singer found himself on top of his amps, dancing around the stage, and walking along the balcony’s railing as the band carried on into one of their many climactic dance numbers of the night.
Article: Tom Shackleford