House of Creatives Music + Arts Festival Recap
With the end of summer usually brings with it the end of festival season. But while in most areas of the U.S. the weather is currently getting chillier by the day, here in Miami it is still just below 80 on an average night, making it the perfect place to host a festival away from the already saturated summer market. House of Creatives could not have come at a more perfect time. With the combination of perfect weather (ahem, aside from the pouring rain during Foster The People), intriguing art installations, a beautiful beachfront venue, not to mention a line up so remarkably unique amidst valid complaints the festival lineups have gotten too similar., this relatively young festival has made itself one to look out for. Check out highlights below of our favorite sets and photos from the best moments of the weekend.
“It’s that funky shit, yeah?” grinned David Macklovitch of Chromeo as he got the crowd pumped up for the next song. Chromeo, a funk-pop band from Montreal, lit up the stage with their presence, their rhythmic, shimmering guitar sounds, and the smooth autotuned embellishments from P-Thugg. Their set design, textured by portraits of vintage vixens and polychromatic visuals, fuses aspects of the 1980s “Video Killed the Radio Star” movement and Playboy’s beginnings. Women and “American femininity” are common themes in the duo’s music and aesthetic down to their keyboard stands, each one a pair of female legs in red high heels.
Their uncanny stage presence was infectious. The duo’s chemistry was evident as P-Thugg smiled knowingly while Maklovitch semi-awkwardly bopped around. During the performance of “Must’ve Been,” they led the crowd in a sing-along before beginning the song. This act of hypemanship familiarized the crowd with the chorus, and by the time the song began, everyone was screaming the words and jumping around. The deafening bass and clean guitar riffs only propelled the crowd into a raucous frenzy. Not only did Chromeo perform catchy tunes from their most recent album, Head Over Heels, but they made sure to please the longtime fans with some throwback jams, “Night by Night,” their classic “Intro,” and “Jealous (I Ain’t With It).” - Caroline Whyte
Foster the People
As the headliner, the night had been leading up to Foster the People with performances from Pond, Sofu Tukker, and Chromeo that when it was time for their set I was buzzing with energy. They opened their set with “Loyal Like Sid and Nancy,” a fast-paced song that has a lot of synths. Mark Foster had an amazing stage presence and really tried to interact with the crowd. My favorite part is when they played “waste” a song off their debut album, Torches, that include fan favorites like “Don’t Stop” and “Pumped Up Kicks” At the end of their set it started to rain and it felt like the perfect ending to an amazing night. - Tope Ekunsanmi
Within the span of only 20 minutes, I fell head over heels for SOFI TUKKER. The showstopping duo - Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern - opened with the searing excitement of “Energia”, encouraging the crowd to lift their hands up to the sky. “We are so, so happy to be here with all of you!” shouted Sophie. In her flowy white pants and high ponytail, she worked the stage with a sense of feminine electricity. On the other side of the exotic floral arrangement (an allusion to the jungle themes of their album Treehouse), Tucker was grooving on the soundboard with a neon pink mohawk. They transitioned into the raw fun of “Batshit,” with Tucker’s smooth bass vocals bouncing off of Sophie’s electric guitar. As the graphics on the back screen evolved into a bright pop-art mountain, the crowd came to life. “Fuck They” was an absolute burst of empowerment, accompanied by a celebration of light and color. Sophie’s vocals during “Baby, I’m a Queen” were sublime. It felt as if she were casting her confidence and light out into the audience. When I began to hear the sparkling beats of “Best Friend,” the pair grinned at each other with pure joy. It was clear to see that they were both having the time of their lives onstage - a genuine joy unleashed by an explosion of creativity. SOFI TUKKER’s set was joyful, captivating, and freeing. The energetic dance-pop songs perfectly matched their killer stage presence. - Anja Reese
On Sunday Little Dragon put on a thrilling performance at the House of Creatives at Historic Virginia Key. Their indie synth-pop kept the crowd constantly moving while integrating elements of soul, R&B, and traditional Japanese dance. The lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, moved sporadically from pose to pose as her tambourine shook to the beat and acted as an extension of herself, similar to a shrine maiden performing ceremony. As she danced across the stage hidden by her lampshade-like hat, they performed older songs like “Shuffle A Dream”,“Ritual Union”, and slow burner “Twice”. They then performed songs off their most recent studio album, Season High like “Feather” and “High”. Eventually ending the set with the upbeat “Klapp Klapp” off Nabuma Rubberband, “Love Chanting” off their recent EP Lover Chanting, and a shoutout to Aaron Jerome a.k.a SBTRKT as they proceeded to perform their most popular song, “Wildfire.” Technically it is a SBTRKT song featuring Little Dragon off his self-titled mixtape in 2011, but is most famously known for being sampled in a remix by Drake the same year. A lovely performance that I only wish could have been a little longer. Unfortunately, they did not play any personal favorites, “Sunshine” or “Bullets off” KAYTRANADA’s 99.9%. Overall an ideal opening to the exhilarating M.I.A. - Joshua Jones
As soon as yellow curtains descended 30 minutes before she took the stage, it was apparent M.I.A.’s set would be an important one. With a 75-minute set spanning every album of her long career, M.I.A. performed everything from remixes to deep cuts to her most popular singles. Her show exploded to a start with “World Town”, accompanied by two powerful dancers. M.I.A.’s art, which is equal parts kaleidoscopic and militaristic, served as a backdrop to her performance. She proved to be an expert at crowd interaction, spending the majority of her performance at the edge of the stage and even inviting audience members on stage to dance with her. Ending her set with the classic “Paper Planes,” M.I.A. proved why she’s a generational icon and will be for years to come. - Matt Karas
Check out the gallery below with photos from throughout the weekend
All photos taken by Aaliyah Weathers