Prism Recap: Heineken TransAtlantic Day 1

April 11, 2015admin

In a city as rich in culture as Miami, we’re lucky to say quite a few awesome things are seen as “staples”. Sunny skies, friendly vibes, and even greater tunes. Blending the latter with the architecture of our past, The Heineken TransAtlantic Festival brings some of the world’s greatest sounds to one of the city’s key landmarks: The North Beach Bandshell.


For six years, The Rhythm Foundation has wrangled international troubadours and songstresses and gathered them onto Miami Beach for two nights of unadulterated, family-friendly fun. And last night marked the 13th year of the festival, proving to be its greatest one yet. The Art Deco walls were washed in green, calling all passerbys to enjoy the refreshing vibes of the festival’s namesake. With the glowing headphones, bumping jams, and vintage VW van of Silent Revolution welcoming concertgoers, the crowd knew they were in for a treat.


The outdoor amphitheater was sprawling with kids young and old. Playing soccer with beach balls, creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk, all to the percussive beat of the Capoeira demonstration that warmed up the stage for the day’s first act: My Deer. The crowd may have been a bit lethargic after the week’s last workday but as the sun set, My Deer brought the Miami rhythm out of them — flowing through their setlist like the images of waves projected in the background. These local Indie Rockers charmed the audience with covers of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” and “My Girls” by Animal Collective, intermingled with some of their classics like “The Way That You Are” and “Story”, ending their set with a bang.


After refilling my beer load, I took a stroll among the vendors, stopping to admire the artisanal handcrafts of local artists. Then, the calm quickly built up into a crescendo of applause as the crowd rushed to fill the dance floor for my personal favorite set of the night, Puerto Candelaria. I got to chat with the guys backstage before their performance and let me tell you, they are every bit as fun and genuine as their musical performance. With cowboy hats and pelvic thrusts galore, their Colombian rhythms and Latin horn lines brought out the Funk for the night, urging us to witness a real sonic party. With covers of The B-52s, MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and even a Samba-like rendition of the American classic, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, it seemed their set would never end…and gladly.


Coming off of the colorful high brought on by “Los Candelarios”, the night’s headliners and closing act, Budos Band took the stage — ready to pounce. They started slow and dark, heavy like the weight of a thunderstorm about to pour. The baritone saxophone competing with the trumpet’s screaming message for all headbangers to hear. These Staten Island dudes were ready to prove that the power of live music was still alive and well, even in a place as differing and their hometown. Their set was a whirlwind of sonic dimensions, instruments bleeding into each other as if by accident, musicians crawling to the crowd, smiles unwashed from their faces. It may not have been as upbeat as their predecessors, but it was definitely a party.


I woke up with the music still stuck in my head, and I can’t wait for Wild Belle, Ana Tijoux, and Bluejay to bring it all home for the weekend. I know The Rhythm Foundation still has a few tricks up their sleeve and I’m itching to make my way up there, excited for more. Any takers?

All photos by the talented, Alex Markow.