I’ve heard the local music scene is tough, especially for local musicians. This may be true, but so is life. Last night beneath red stage lights and bursts of green laser lights, Makai performed from its latest album, “Luz al Instante (Instant Light)”at The Rock Shop — a South Beach live music venue that features local acts.
Makai, which literally means “by the sea,” formed in 2008 and features Amelia Rosenfeld (vocals), Leonardo Cañete (guitarist) and Axel Pedersen (bass). The songs from “Luz al Instante” are poetic, luminous and nostalgic, soft yet sharp. Its songs make the audience listen closely because Makai is, first and foremost, about the language of poetry. Even though Spanish is not my mother tongue, I understood (most) of the songs and where they come from — the heart and the sea.
In addition to the lyrical quality of the songs, the band, as a unified whole, performed exquisitely together. In fact, the performance sounded like the band had been playing together for decades — each member seemed to know exactly how much to contribute, when to push and pull back — creating a perfect balance between the vocals and instrumental sounds.
Even though The Rock Shop wasn’t full, the venue filled up shortly after the band began to play. It drew in people off the streets. There was even a large group of birthday party revelers who drunkenly swarmed the dance floor and began to dance to the music. Their presence seemed to energize Rosenfeld and the band. She powered through each song in front of an audience that may or may not have understood every word she sang. Nevertheless, I think they understood the intention of each lyric, the quality of each cord.
She’s better than Shakira, someone screamed. I laughed because Rosenfeld and Makai are not comparable to Shakira, which is the point. Makai is unique and its making its voice heard in Miami’s complex, yet vibrant, local music scene.
For more information about Makai, visit its website at http://www.makaimiami.com; to purchase its latest album, “Luz al Instante,” visit http://www.makaimiami.com/products.html; and to listen to free downloads, visit http://www.makaimiami.com/music.html.
For more information about The Rock Shop, visit http://rockshopmiami.com/.