III Points Music Festival 2017 Recap

October 17, 2017Ana Rojo

III Points wrapped up their fifth year taking over Miami and it was definitely one for the books. With some of their biggest headliners to-date, the masterminds behinds the city’s biggest independent musical events pulled out all the stops to create a long and spectacular three days of music.  From the three headliners to the local talents, each and every musical act left audience members in aw and spectators wanting more.

Kicking off on Friday, the festival began with herds of people making their way to the Mind Melt stage early in the night for one of the festival’s most anticipated performances, Gorillaz, who would perform their first and only Florida show. Earlier on though, crowds were treated to soul-funk singer Thundercat, avant-garde artists Arca & Jesse Kanda, R&B Colombian singer Kali Uchis (who had to run over from her set to take the stage will Gorillaz for their song “She’s My Collar”), Richie Hawtin who closed out day one, and so many more.

Once Gorillaz took the stage though, a crowd that III Points has never seen was stationed around the Mind Melt stage. It was one of the most memorable performances of the night with Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn playing songs from their entire discography, from “Clint Eastwood” to “Plastic Beach,” a dedication to Miami (also the first time the song has been performed live since 2010). Bringing guests to the stage to perform songs from their latest album Humanz, such as Kali Uchis, Kilo Kish and Zebra Katz, Gorillaz was undoubtedly the most memorable at the festival.

Day Two was also packed with a variety of music that again surpassed expectation. Electronic jazz group BadBadNotGood delivered an incredible performance showing off their impressive musicality powered through the rain that began pouring down during their set. Sixteen year old Willow Smith, who was one of the biggest surprises to see on the lineup, delivered a soulful performance in the Main Frame stage even turning her most recognized song “Whip My Hair” into a powerful rock ballad. Mark Ronson and Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker proceeded to cover some of their most recognized songs, from Tame Impala’s “Let it Happen” to “Uptown Funk,” one of Ronson’s catchiest songs. But a very special moment for III Points and Miami was when the crowd sang “Valerie” acappella, as Ronson exclaimed that it was one of the best shows they’ve ever played.  Saturday headliner Nicolas Jaar, who is no stranger to the III Points stage, came on to deliver an impressive set showcasing the entire span of his own original work, a huge difference from his DJ set in 2015.

Hip-hop/electronic superstar Kaytranada packed the Main Frame stage later in the night, with audiences squishing in to a dance party happening inside. And as a change of pace, Hundred Waters, a Florida favorite, delivered an ethereal and surreal performance at Sector 3 featuring songs from their new album Communicating.

Closing out the festival, day three left fans ready for one final day of killer music. Perfume Genius took the stage early in the night delivering a fearless performance of his wide discography and bending, snapping and whipping throughout his music. British DJ Bonobo came on the Mind Melt stage bringing a live set with an amazing group of musicians and singers, different from his previous experience at III Points where he played a DJ set and provided the calming effect needed after three full days.

Sunday headliners The xx, came out on the stage starting off with a quick performance of “Intro” from their debut album and continued playing hit after hit giving festival-goers another memorable performance and reminding them as to why they are still one of the biggest indie bands.

Three days of music and art that were full of unforgettable moments, III Points will only continue to grow in scale and bring bigger names to Miami. We can only wait to see what they’ll have in store for 2018.

The following photos by Stefan Bojilov.