North Beach Music Festival returned to the shores of Miami Beach, FL over the weekend for its second annual edition at the Miami Beach Bandshell. As much of the country was coming to terms with plummeting temperatures and the season’s first snowfall over three days in mid-December, fans at North Beach Music Festival 2022 were busy soaking up seaside sun rays, exploring a laser-lit tropical grove, and taking in thrilling live performances from the likes of moe., Lotus, Lettuce, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dopapod, Trouble No More, Antibalas, Cool Cool Cool, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Doom Flamingo, Keller Williams, Melt, Neighbor, Shira Elias, Guavatron, Lemon City Trio, Afrobeta, and more.
The second year of any new music festival sets a crucial tone. If the first edition of an event is geared toward making a certain statement—from sounds to sights to circumstances—year two often indicates its trajectory going forward. At its inaugural running in 2021, the GMP Live-produced festival’s mission was simple: If you build a jam band fest in South Florida, the fans will come. After making a splash last year, North Beach Music Festival’s 2022 installment set its sights on staying power, expanding both its schedule (from two days to three) and its stylistic scope to align jam scene heavyweights with an array of rising stars in a format that’s primed to thrive for years to come.
Scroll down to watch the official North Beach Music Festival 2022 recap video and read about some of the most notable storylines from the 2022 edition of the event. View photos from each of the event’s three days via DubEra at the bottom of this page or check out the selection of videos from Cheesehead Productions and Fred Ramadan spread throughout the article. Revisit archived pro-shot livestream footage of select performances via Volume.
North Beach Music Festival 2022 – Official Recap Video
The Women of North Beach Music Festival
Music festivals, particularly those in the world of jam bands, have long suffered from a lack of women on artist lineups. The 2022 North Beach Music Festival roster notably bucked that trend.
On Saturday, festival organizers stacked the scenic Park Stage with a series of performances by woman-fronted acts. Shira Elias (Cool Cool Cool) got the day started her solo band’s first-ever festival set featuring a lively mix of material from her two solo EPs, 2020’s Goods and the recently released Services, in addition to some sing-along covers like Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” and Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out”. Next up on the Park Stage was soulful NYC pop-rock outfit Melt, led with magnetic star quality by vocalist Veronica Stewart-Frommer and accented by the impressive lead guitar work of Marlo Shankweiler.
From there, Doom Flamingo and its powerhouse frontwoman, Kanika Moore, provided a pulsing soundtrack to the park’s immersive nocturnal transformation, her theatrical flair matching the colored lights and lasers that draped the scenic palm trees. Later in the evening, Nikki Glaspie, one-half of Trouble No More‘s two-drummer attack, shook the Bandshell Stage as part of a searing set by the new age Allman Brothers Band tribute act.
On Sunday, early risers at the Bandshell were treated to a club-ready set by Miami-native dance music duo Afrobeta as vocalist Cuci Amador set a colorful tone for the day with both her lively performance and her eye-catching wardrobe. That afternoon, vocalists Sammi Garett and Shira Elias once again ignited their longtime creative connection during a performance by the fresh yet familiar Cool Cool Cool.
Doom Flamingo – “Love On Hold” – North Beach Music Festival – 12/10/22
New Looks From Familiar Faces
While some festivals will bring bands back from year to year in order to cultivate a consistent following, North Beach Music Festival’s 2022 lineup was comprised almost entirely of acts that were new to the festival. Young guitarist and bandleader Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, whose set in 2021 was cut short due to technical issues, was the only act officially booked for both years. Still, there were plenty of familiar faces on the stage at NBMF 2022—and many of them appeared with groups that did not yet exist this time last year.
While Taz did perform with his own namesake band at both years of the festival, he also made a North Beach 2022 appearance as part of Trouble No More, the touring Allman Brothers Band tribute that launched earlier this year at New York’s famed Beacon Theatre in honor of the 50th anniversary of Eat a Peach. That outfit, which features Taz alongside guitarist Daniel Donato, drummers Nikki Glaspie and Jack Ryan, bassist Dylan Niederauer, keyboardist Peter Levin, pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier, and vocalist Lamar Williams Jr., took selections from the iconic ABB album for a wild ride on Saturday night as kaleidoscopic visuals played on the LED screen behind them and geometric shapes draped the Bandshell’s walls and canopy.
Trouble No More – North Beach Music Festival – Full Set – 12/10/22
Cool Cool Cool, the nascent act launched this year by seven former members of Turkuaz, served as yet another new-look highlight of NBMF 2022. While Turkuaz had played the Bandshell back in 2019 and NBMF 2021 had featured appearances by five of the seven official members of Cool Cool Cool—The Horn Section (Chris Brouwers, Greg Sanderson, Josh Schwartz) as artists-at-large, Shira Elias as a billed guest with The Motet, and Craig Brodhead as a surprise sit-in with Aqueous—this marked Cool Cool Cool’s NBMF debut and just its second-ever live show overall. Adding to the layers of North Beach familiarity, the band’s rotating bassist slot was filled by Rodrigo “Digo” Zambrano, whose own band, Electric Kif, turned in a memorable set at the festival last year.
With a stellar set featuring songs by the individual band members, compositions by their contemporaries (like Xavier Lynn and Swatkins), and some poignant covers (like a set-closing take on Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”), the musicians of Cool Cool Cool showed Miami Beach that they can still come together to form something even funkier than the sum of its parts.
“The Hardest-Working Man At North Beach Music Festival”
The title of this section was a quote from Shira Elias ahead of Tim Palmieri‘s sit-in with Cool Cool Cool on Sunday, but it held true for the guitarist all weekend long.
Palmieri served as the featured substitute for the entirety of Dopapod‘s Saturday set as the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Rob Compa, awaits the impending birth of his first child. Though Rob’s absence undoubtedly altered the tone of the set, Tim’s presence made for a uniquely exhilarating Dopapod performance. Check out that Black Sabbath “Into The Void” bombshell as soon as you possibly can.
Dopapod ft. Tim Palmieri – North Beach Music Festival – Full Set – 12/10/22
Later that night, Tim played a headlining slot with his full-time band, Lotus, then headed over to late-night spot The Citadel for a full set as part of Blue Star Radiation. As if that wasn’t enough, the revered guitarist also sat in with moe. on Friday and Cool Cool Cool on Sunday.
moe. – North Beach Music Festival – Set Two – 12/9/22
Artist-at-large Skerik could also make a strong bid for the “hardest-working man at North Beach Music Festival” title. The saxophonist offered guest spots with everyone from Dopapod/Tim Palmieri (on Ernest Ranglin’s “Surfin'”) to Taz (on Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Red Hot Mama”) to moe. (on “The Pit”) to Trouble No More (on the Allman Brothers Band’s “Southbound”) to Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (on “New Ammo” and “Root Down”) before closing his weekend with a sit-in alongside Denson during Lettuce‘s festival-closing performance (on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”).
Lettuce – North Beach Music Festival – Full Set – 12/11/22
An Immersive Lotus Experience In The Park
North Beach Music Festival makes use of both the Miami Beach Bandshell and its adjoining park. While most nights at the festival end on the main Bandshell Stage, organizers flipped the order of performances on Saturday night to close things out with an immersive Lotus production on the Park Stage. The two-hour show squeezed all of the sensory juice out of the Park Stage’s high-production nighttime ambiance, which had only ever previously enjoyed a couple short hours of action per night.
Lotus – “Shimmer and Out” – North Beach Music Festival – 12/10/22
While the first year of North Beach Music Festival remained predominantly in the “jam band” lane, 2022 offered plenty of forays into adjoining musical styles. From the potent, Fela Kuti-inspired Afrobeat sounds of Antibalas to the down-and-dirty funk-rock of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe to the bilingual dance tracks of Afrobeta, this year’s festival expanded its stylistic scope to include a new range of styles that fit seamlessly with both the intrepid jam band mindset and Miami’s eclectic music culture.
After Midnight At The Citadel
In addition to expanding the festivities at the Miami Beach Bandshell to three days in length, NBMF 2022 added a full schedule of late-night shows at The Citadel that served to intensify many of the storylines we’ve covered here.
Friday’s late-night paired local electro-jam favorite Guavatron with a DJ Logic & Friends set featuring members of Lotus and Dopapod. Saturday’s after-hours program offered a double dose of old friends in unusual formations, with Blue Star Radiation (moe.’s Rob Derhak, Vinnie Amico, and Nate Wilson with Lotus’ Tim Palmieri) starting things off and the first-ever performance by DJ Yesmann (Craig Brodhead) & The Horn Section keeping fans dancing to red-hot live house music until after 4:00 a.m.
On Sunday, the festival wound down with a hazy, Dilla-fied lounge set by Electric Kif and an all-original producer set by Lettuce’s Adam Deitch featuring sit-ins from KDTU keyboardist Kenneth Crouch, Dopapod drummer Neal “Fro” Evans, and Kif drummer Armando Lopez.
Here’s to yet another fantastic North Beach Music Festival! We’ll see you all in 2023!