With dedicated trance and house stages and VIP bottle service areas, this weekend’s BANG! Festival was the place to be for music devotees who wanted to tear it up in typical Miami fashion. Now in its second year, BANG! featured an expanded, eclectic lineup anchored by Duran Duran and Daft Punk, and rounded out by Gnarls Barkley, Common, Modest Mouse, Tiesto, and Roger Sanchez. And with five stages sprinkled throughout Bicentennial Park, three of which were devoted to dance music, the festival grounds’ common areas were a mash-up of dance beats, heavy rock build-ups, and thumping bass lines.
Roger Sanchez, a native New Yorker of Dominican decent, expressed his connection with the people of Miami and Latin culture: “I love playing here, its Vice City, baby,” he said. Feeding off his energy, Duran Duran launched into their pastel-hued set with “Hungry Like the Wolf,” but it wasn’t until “Notorious” that the crowd sprang to life. In advance of their show, drummer Roger Taylor revealed to SPIN.com he anticipated being heavy on the kick pedal, and he could have been talking about BANG! as a whole when he described his band’s sound as always having “one foot in the rock world, and another on the dance floor.” MIKE ALBANESE & NICK PASTULA COMMENT