Photos and words by Jen Diaz
The energy was undeniable at this year’s Winter Music Conference (WMC) as the streets of Miami flooded with tourists, fans and music lovers alike. You can feel the baselines thump and the loud cheers from Wynwood to Ocean Drive.
Once you get settled and decide on all of the events you want to attend, you begin to realize the choices are infinite and the excitement starts to kick in. At every corner you can immediately tell things are about to get live!
Leaving the cold wintry mix in New York is the best decision you can make, especially when you land to an announcement of clear skies at about 82 degrees. Once the thought of sunshine settles, the chaos of pool parties, day events and beach days comes next. My week was spent alongside two genuine and talented one-of-a-kind music appreciators Miami native, DJ Wasabi and Brooklyn native, DJ Spinna. Passionate discussions on vinyl, house music and the classics were in full swing.
Hot off the presses with their second full-length release entitled Voices, the Upstate New York duo brought that boom to a sold out room.
The night kicked off with a mild dose of dream pop by opener White Sea. Fronted by the sultry M83 vocalist, Morgan Kibby, their 80’s-esque tunes wafted through the theater as the cool kids piled in quickly, eager to be close for the headliners. The trio played a near seamless set of agreeable tunes, including “Mountaineer,” just mellow enough to classify as chill, but gallant enough to command attention through bold falsettos, and confident drumming.
But even with garnering fair attention from an audience eager for the main event, the showstopper of White Sea’s set wasn’t their nocturnal, yet dancy “Cannibal Love,” but rather Kibby’s gold Wonder Woman belt and midnight purple pants-gown that drew eyes to the stage.
…and then there was that one group.
With her donning a cropped black and white leather jacket and him sporting crisp white button up and classic Fender guitar, Sarah Barthel, and Josh Carter, better known as Phantogram, brought their unparalleled sound machine to a very excitable Oakland crowd.