III Points 2015: Day 3 Recap
October 12, 2015
It was a slow-moving Sunday for III Points‘ last day, as festivalgoers were crawling in on whatever ounce of energy they had left. Local electro outfit, The Hongs, were happy in their new time slot at Mind Melt as they invited the crowd to jump onstage and dance along with them. A recurring theme of the night, apparently (more on that later). Although I could no longer feel my lower back, I still made it over early enough to get my hurr braided by NUE Studio and a talented sweetheart named Emily (I think). Ready for the night Lara Croft-style, I checked out the hard live rap over at GoldLink before being resuscitated by Bomba Estereo.
As smoke slowly billowed through, a lone drummer appeared as if by magic, setting a rhythm to our anticipation. Then came the keys and guitars, and finally, like a hat trick, the white jumpsuit-clad Liliana joined them bringing an excess of energy in tow. Her eerie voice piercing across the grounds, she seemed like a right Bird of Paradise straight from the rainforests of Colombia as her feather headdress bounced to their hard and fun beat. They played tracks off of their recent Latin GRAMMY-nominated album, Amanecer including “Somos Dos” on which she invited one lucky man (seemed to be her boo?) up for a sensual number and then happily accepted roses and love letters thrown onto the stage from her many fans. The high-octane jams came when they played their popular hit, “Fiesta,” and the crowd went crazy for those moombahton drops and afrobeat foundations. They came back for a slow and entrancing encore with “El Alma Y El Cuerpo” as she chewed and spewed her roses at the crowd – no matter the language, it was 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
Walking in to Jay Electronica at Main Frame, I knew it was going to be a special moment instantly. First, he thanked Miami on behalf of his family and all the misplaced New Orleans residents who were welcomed in our city after the tragedy of Katrina. He told stories of their Detroit days when they’d try stealing beats off Dilla, mentioning that his DJ’s first set of turntables were a gift from the late great man himself. Some kid yelled: “R.I.P Dilla” and Jay invited him onstage to stand next to his DJ, gifting him a chain that was originally Jay Z’s. He asked the crowd to raise one finger in the air and scream for J Dilla, I was already in tears. After rapping acapella for several bars, he invited the photographers in the pit onstage with him and then quickly opened up the offer to the entire audience, thanking the security for being so cool about it — he became almost imperceptible amongst a crowd of adoring fans. He did a little “Can I Kick It? (Holladay)” before allowing two lucky locals a chance to spit 16 bars, making our city proud with their talented flow. He mentioned that his first onstage performance was given to him by Mos Def in a similar way, paying it forward. He hit us with “Eternal Sunshine” and his “Control” verse, among a slew of other favorites. He was part comedian, part storyteller, and every bit the hardcore rap people were thirsty for from the Ghostface + DOOM confusion the day before.
Sector 3 stage had some of the best DJ sets I heard across the board. Starting with the funner than fun, Nick Monaco. It was funky, disco, afrobeat. It was “Let Your Freak Flag Fly.” It was bouncy and infectious, it was mood-altering in every way — a colorful party from a more colorful talent. Albeit a few sound issues, Gabriel Garzon-Montano was one of my favorites (although slightly biased due to my hardcore fangirldom) at Mind Melt all weekend. He started in a puff of drums and whirling vocals, oozing soul and power as he went along. With the rhythmically dark, “Me Alone,” he flowed effortlessly into a cover of the traditional folk song, “El Pescador,” and back again — proving his musical knowledge within seconds. After hitting us with my personal favorite, “Everything is Everything,” he moved into “6 8” leading into a drum crescendo that had him bouncing in his seat. He thanked his (extremely composed) drummer, David Fraser, and sauntered off as if nothing had happened. NBD.
Meanwhile, the 21 year-old, British musician extraordinaire that is King Krule was oozing in musical maturity, paying homage to the classic dark wave bands of yesteryear. He played a Reptar cover to a mesmerized crowd, his angst was nearly tangible through the screams, propelled by his “no f*cks given” lyrical persona. The semi-hostile, “A Lizard State” tested the depths of the tight and talented musicians on stage with him. “Krockadile” is still ringing in my ears, his desperation too heavy to shake off just yet.
Needed a bit of a pick-me-up? Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap were another pair of sonic murderers at Sector 3, hitting the crowd with some astral disco travel sh*t. So funky, so danceable, and not in the least bit monotonous or repetitive, the crowd was pooling past the school bus and up to the food vendors. They brought in Motown and soul classics, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” an immediate crowd-pleaser. Sadly, a conflict of similar styles had Mr. Brown playing an extensive collection of disco classics to a semi-empty crowd (all of which were dancing with no intent to stop) at Mind Melt. He fingered through his vinyl treasures with ease, letting us into his personal love affair with the funk. It was the disco I had been waiting for…where was the ball when you really needed it?
Damian Lazarus and The Ancient Moons knew how to keep a crowd steady in their increasing anticipation. The scene was dark and heavy, an unsettling presence before the channeling that was his holiness the celestial emperor. Turban-clad and robe flowing, it was the deepest of house and the hardest of bass, hitting those in attendance with teleportation of a sonic dimension. In short: it was weird, but it was magical. Our stamina gauge was rapidly draining and I found comfort on a rug as I jammed internally to Unknown Mortal Orchestra from afar. It was experimental, it was fun, the sound could have been better but “Multi-Love” was as great as I expected it to be.
Thank you, III Points, for putting in so many hours of passionate work all to better the creative scope that our city can offer. It was a pleasure to play inside you. Until next year!