In its second year, North Beach Music Festival solidified itself as a Miami Beach mainstay. For 2022, NBMF took over the historic Miami Beach Bandshell for three nights of music and offered festival-goers two-full days of back-to-back sets when it spilled over into the adjacent Bandshell Park on Saturday and Sunday.
North Beach Music Festival presented a diversified lineup in 2022, featuring more women performers and varied genres of music. While jam-scene favorites graced the stages, the festival also presented a fair share of local bands as well as afrobeat and funk-inspired acts. Additionally, the festival once again saw many special sit-ins and collaborations throughout the weekend.
Select sets from the festival streamed on Volume throughout the weekend. While the stream was free, NBMF encouraged donations to benefit the Red Cross' Hurricane Ian relief efforts. The live stream is now archived at volume.com/nbmusicfest.
Below is a recap of this past weekend's highlights.
On Friday, December 9th, Miami's own Lemon City Trio kicked things off with an upbeat, jazz-inspired performance on the Miami Beach Bandshell. The highly-anticipated return of Brandon "Taz" Niederauer came next, and attendees were delighted to Taz originals, as well as a rendition of Funkadelic's "Red Hot Mama" featuring artist-at-large Skerik on saxophone. To close out the first night, moe. played two sets of music. It has been quite awhile since moe. made it so far south and the two-set performance welcomed sit-ins from Skerik on "Low Spark on High-Heeled Boys" and guitarist Tim Palmieri on the second set-ender, "The Pit."
Saturday, December 10th saw the festival expand over its two iconic stages. Soulful vocalist Shira Elias made her "first ever festival" debut on day two, and formally opened up the Park Stage. Elias delighted the afternoon crowd with songs from her pair of EPs, Goods and Services, as well as a memorable cover of the Spice Girls' "Say You'll Be There." Keller Williams followed on the Bandshell Stage and weaved a beautiful rendition of "St. Stephen" between fan-favorites "Doobie in my Pocket" and "Freeker By the Speaker." Indie-soul band Melt was next up on the Park Stage and dazzled the crowd with a particularly well-suited performance of "Waves" from debut release West Side Highway. Melt brought their high-energy stage presence beachside and delivered strong drum and guitar solos during their set, culminating with a performance of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon."
The highly-anticipated performance of Dopapod featuring guitarist Tim Palmieri (who subbed in for Rob Compra while he's out on paternity leave) brought the party back over to the Bandshell Stage as the sun set on day two. While Dopapod's set featured mostly original instrumental music, Palmieri took lead vocals during the band's standout performance of Black Sabbath's "Into The Void." Next, festival attendees headed to the first sundown set at the Park Stage for a performance from Charleston-based synthwave act Doom Flamingo, which features Ryan Stasik (Umphrey's McGee) on bass. Doom Flamingo vocalist Kanika Moore delighted the crowd with a heartfelt and theatric leave-it-all-on-the-stage performance while lasers filled the palm tree-ridden sky. The penultimate performance on Saturday welcomed the music of the Allman Brothers Band with Trouble No More, which featured the star-studded lineup of Taz, Daniel Donato, Nikki Glaspie, Peter Levin and Roosevelt Collier alongside Dylan Niederauer, Jack Ryan, and vocalist Lamar Williams, Jr. Artist-at-large Skerik joined for a lively performance of "Southbound."
Finally, Lotus closed out day two on the Park Stage. The band, which now features Tim Palmieri on guitar as of June 2021, opened with Todd Terje's "Inspector Norse." As lasers filled the sky, Lotus took fans on a journey through their entire catalog starting with fan-favorite, "Shimmer And Out."
On Sunday, December 11th, Miami-based duo Afrobeta kicked off day three with dancey, synth-centric songs on the Bandshell Stage. South Florida favorites Guavatron hit the Park Stage next, and jammed their way through an hour-long set that featured originals "Grit" into "Ray Gun" into "Gustavo," which wove into the finale, "Turtle Dream." The Bandshell Stage then welcomed Cool Cool Cool—the new project from former Turkuaz bandmates Craig Brodhead, Chris Brouwers, Michaelangelo Carubba, Shira Elias, Sammi Garett, Greg Sanderson, and Josh Schwartz—who welcomed Electric Kif bassist, Rodrigo "Digo" Zambrano. Cool Cool Cool delighted the afternoon crowd with a set comprised of covers like Swatkins' "Gotta Give it Away" and Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It," to name a few. Tim Palmieri joined the group for renditions of Graham Central Station's "Hair" and Brodhead's DJ Yesmann-created "Tied Up." Cool Cool Cool ended their set with an emotional performance of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain."
Attendees returned to the Park Stage for a performance from Neighbor, which saw performances of fan favorites "Trippin' in a Van" and "Pine Tree," as well as a performance of "One for The Hoop" with a tease of "Lonely Rider" thrown in for good measure. The Antibalas took over the Bandshell Stage next for a performance of afrobeat-inspired protest tunes that spanned the band's entire catalog. The powerhouse ensemble culminated their set with a lively performance of "Nyash" which showcased solos from the band's various members. Karl Denson's, then closed down the Park Stage with a lively, electrifying performance. Artist-at-large Skerik joined Denson for a toe-to-toe expansive saxophone jam on "New Ammo" and remained on stage during the band's performance of "Root Down." Denson delivered a stunning flute solo mid-set after "Brother's Keeper" as he rolled into "Sure Shot"
Finally, Lettuce closed out the festival on the Bandshell Stage with a high-energy performance of mostly instrumentals and welcomed star-studded guests from the festival's lineup. Namely, a power-packed performance of "We'll Be Alright" from Lettuce's recent album Unify welcomed the likes of Skerik and Karl Denson (who has not sat in with the group in nearly a decade), and Nikki Glaspie joined on percussion during an expansive "Lessanity" jam towards the end of the set. Lettuce kept the crowd dancing all the way until curfew, marking a successful end of NBMF 2022.