Kid Cudi @ James L. Knight Center

On October 15, Kid Cudi, brought his latest album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, to life in Miami. This tour backed his 2016 album after keeping a low profile in the following year — checking himself into rehab for depression and suicidal behaviors. Despite the internal struggles, he is touring, making fans happy, and keeping it very natural. With a little under 30 shows across the country, Kid Cudi is back and ready to take back the hip-hop throne.

Mr. “Solo Dolo” performed about 17 songs, 10 or so being of Demon Slayin’ and the rest being hits from his early albums such as Man on the Moon: The End of the Day. “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, “Day ‘N’ Nite”, and “Pursuit of Happiness” were huge hits with the crowd of loyal Cudi fans. Cudi also brought out King Chip and they performed “Brothers” and “Just What I am” off Indicud from 2013.

Although Cudi’s production was not too elaborate, he still managed to steal the show with his stage presence. I could tell that the artist was proud of his new work and enjoyed performing it in the early stages of the tour. His new material still seemed fresh to the rapper. Cudi ended his set with “Surfin'”, which seemed to be one of his favorites from his energy. “Rose Golden”, “Baptized in Fire”, “Frequency”, “All In”, and “By Design” are just a few of the other tracks Cudi performed off his newest piece.

The set was shorter than I bargained for. With 11 albums, we could have heard several more songs and/or work with other artists. There are rumors of new Cudi music coming very soon, but I can’t wait to see him again. Such a fun and colorful show. He mentions his past struggles, but shows the crowd that he can really get past anything.

 Dirty Heads @ Revolution Live

Even with a borderline nonexistent view, The Dirty Heads concert was still teeming with energy October 24th. I believe this speaks volumes for Dirty Heads themselves, as I had probably just as good of a time on the balcony, blocked by palm trees, as I would have front and center. The band mainly stuck to strictly playing music and did not interact with the audience, which I would have liked a little more of. Although, the way in which they delivered their songs, like “Sloth’s Revenge” and “That’s All I Need,” more than compensated for the lack of audience interaction. You could feel the connection the band and the audience had with Dirty Head’s older hits, without anyone having to say a word, the music said it all.

Vocalists, Jared “Dirty J” Watson and Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell, were noteworthy as well. They both maintained vocal stamina throughout the entirety of the show, with no notable slip-ups, which I found particularly impressive accounting for the intensity of some of the songs and due to the fact that this was the first show of their SWIM TEAM tour. It also was interesting to witness the type of audience this band attracts: teens, moms, dads, hippies, punks, the whole nine yards. Despite the differing backgrounds, the audience all shared a love for Dirty Heads and, simply put, just really good vibes. The perfect combination of the band’s relentless vitality and the audience’s warm and hyped demeanor made this concert worthwhile, and I think anyone, regardless of music preference, could have a stellar time seeing Dirty Heads.

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Wynwood Fear Factory

Things got a bit spooky this year at the second annual Wynwood Fear Factory. Held at the RC Cola Plant, this 2-Day Halloween-themed festival boosted a heavy line-up despite its new reputation. The festival took place over this past Saturday and Sunday, with the two main headliners being Porter Robinson and DJ Snake.

In the spirit of Halloween, the first day was a bit dark and gloomy. The festival began after curators announced a 2-hour delay due to a tropical storm aiming to hit south Miami that night. Artists, Oliver Heldens and Fedde Le Grand, had to be rescheduled to the following day because weather conditions hindered their ways of getting there. Nevertheless, the festival prevailed and put on a spectacular show. The M Machine had a perfect set time. The smooth and melodic bass of their rendition of “No Scrubs” along with the rain and scenic Miami sunset was a beautiful combination. They played many remixed throwbacks that were nice to reminisce and hear in a different style. Headliner Porter Robinson played many tracks from his notable Worlds album, and also his most recent single Shelter. Porter shocked the crowd with a chilling 5-minute edit beginning with Fellow Feeling, and this kept everyone awake and on their feet until the end. As the rain continued to fall, this time getting harder and harder, Porter closed the show with Goodbye to A World, giving the ending to this moving set an emotional essence. Having left satisfied, I was eager to see what day 2 had in store.

Day 2 saw slightly better weather than day 1 making it a tad bit more bearable… if you had a sweater. Now not distracted by the rain, I took more notice to the design and thematic effects of the festival. The costumed workers were just as scary and bone-chilling as advertised and the lineup for Day 2 was tight with great talent since the storm from the previous day forced two artists to cancel. Big Gigantic had to of been my favorite set from the day. When Good Times Roll came on, you immediately could see the eyes of everyone in the crowd light up and feet start to move. The audience swayed side to side and the momentum was great. Yellow Claw followed right after and kept it going. Yellow Claw sets are always hype and stimulate a strong energy from the crowd. They played some new singles that they have yet to release anywhere else, which made the performance a little more special. Alas, DJ Snake turned the crowd up for one last time. He played both pop and trap tracks which made for a fun and diverse set. Of course, when Lean On and Middle started everyone turned to their sides and grabbed either someone they were with or a stranger and sang along soulfully. Although the festival could’ve improved in some areas, it managed to still bring together, a somewhat, respectful community to enjoy music a cool, mysterious Halloween weekend.

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