Miami Horror live in Brisbane – review

Miami_Horror-2.png’s Dean Rostron catches the return of Melbourne’s indietronica heroes:

Miami Horror hit the stage at Oh Hello! in Brisbane for one of their first headline shows in two years after touring extensively on the back of their highly successful 2010 debut album, Illumination. Since then the band has been busy relocating to the United States, writing and recording their second album and gaining heavy exposure in the form of ‘Sometimes’ featuring in Grand Theft Auto V.

They open their set with two new songs, ‘What You Have Found’ & their latest single, ‘Real Slow’ a sugary, dreamy pop blast that features guest vocalist, Sarah Chernoff. In her absence tonight lead vocal duties are covered by band members Josh Moriarty & Aaron Shanahan. The boys have a great energy and sense of showmanship but the song does take on a different vibe without those ephemeral vocals of Chernoff’s.

After a brief detour to a classic in ‘I Look To You’ we’re back to new ground in the form of ‘Cruel Heads’. At this point I start to wonder if these initial small club dates are about road-testing their new album (due out later in the year). They must have read my thoughts because I begin to hear the familiar opening strains of ‘Moon Theory’ and am immediately transported back to the summer of 2010. They then dig back even further into their catalogue with’ Make You Mine’, the only song in tonight’s set from their 2008 Bravado EP. It would have been great to also hear the schmaltzy ‘Don’t Be On With Her’ from that era but at this point in their career the pastiche of that tune is perhaps too far removed from who they are now as band.

Miami-HorrorWe’re told that the next number, ‘Out Of Sight’, is the first time they have performed that song live. It’s an upbeat, emotional tune with a soaring chorus that could prove to be a future hit for them. The recently released, ‘Colours In The Sky’ features Leopold on vocal duties in recorded form and he also makes a surprise guest appearance tonight during its live rendition. Although he gets somewhat lost amongst the already crowded small stage and thick fog. The latter seemingly being employed aggressively to compensate for the somewhat static light show.

The last five songs of the set are mainly made up of singles from the Illumination album including ‘Echoplex’, ‘Summersun’ and ‘Sometimes’. To my surprise they also include the instrumental, ‘Illuminated’ – one of my favourite deep cuts from the record. They end the set on a high note with perennial crowd favourite, ‘Holidays’ and tell everyone to stick around for a drink with them.

Overall, it was a great show. Both the band and the crowd were in good spirits, the sound was decent and there was a nice balance between old classics and new material in the set. While the new tunes aren’t as immediately catchy as their older stuff it’ll be interesting to hear them with full production values when the new album hits later this year.



Miami Horror live review by Dean Rostron