During Winter Break, jam-rock legends Phish hosted a four-night New Year bonanza in Miami (December 31 through January 3). I was lucky enough to attend all four shows and can, without a doubt, say that there is simply no better band to see live right now than this phearsome phoursome. The American Airlines Arena was packed, and the energy was palpable every night. The run featured new hits, old classics, and numerous classic rock and roll covers. My personal opinion is that second set of New Year’s Eve was the highlight. The set featured intricate high-energy experimental improvisation that transcended the arena to outer space. It concluded with a particularly appropriate “Martian Monster,” the song’s first rendition since its debut this past Halloween.
Each night was filled with emotional peaks, face-melting guitar, and booty-thumping bass bombs. The final show featured one last hurrah as the second set emphasized outstanding melodic precision and impeccable energy. The run ultimately concluded with a heartfelt cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times.” As the band left the stage and the house lights illuminated, hugs were shared and tears of happiness were shed; it was truly a magical phamily reunion.
In order to help readers keep up with current live music, here are some shows I would highly recommend for any music lover:
• Tuesdays from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (FREE!) – The Groove Orient (rock & roll; high-energy experimental jazz; funk; soul)
• January 23 – Keller Williams (experimental acoustic; organic dance music) at the Plaza
• January 28 – Galactic (New Orleans Funk) at the Plaza
• January 30 – The Groove Orient album release party at House of Blues
• February 12 – The Groove Orient opening for George Porter Jr. (rock & roll; soul; funk) at Backbooth
• February 20 – The Wailers and Rusted Root (reggae; jam-rock) at House of Blues
• February 28 – Shpongle (psychedelic trance) at the Plaza
• March 6-8 (SPRING BREAK!) – AURA Music and Arts Festival at Suwannee Music Park. Acts include The Disco Biscuits (electronic jam-rock; psychedelic), moe. (jam-rock; rock & roll), the first ever Break Science Live Band performance featuring members of Lettuce (Pretty Lights Music; glitch; hip-hop; livetronic), Kung Fu (high-energy ninja funk; jam-rock), Dopapod (prog-rock; jam-rock; psychedelic), Papadosio (psychedelic), and many more.