Miami is a tricky city for live music. The Miami Hurricane is here to help with our music venue series, bringing you the best local venues by genre. We’re starting with punk rock, and working our way through music styles. Keep an eye out for new finds throughout the year.
“Miami’s punk scene feels like an afterthought,” said David Bennett, a member of the local band Dividends and former member of the Miami punk band MEAT. “The punk/metal scene is probably second largest next to EDM, but very far behind, and very DIY.”
Being an avid rock fan in Miami is difficult because touring bands don’t often tour so far south. However, this inaccessibility shapes the city’s music scene dramatically.
“The Miami music scene is unique in that there is a very fierce sense of ‘Do-It-Yourself,’ which I believe stems from the fact that we are kind of isolated,” said Testokra member Carolyn Helmers. “We aren’t going to sit around waiting for bands to come down south, so we just have to write our own music.”
In a city sorely lacking in rock venues, there is one tucked away within Little Haiti with an almost cult-like following. Every weekend metal-heads and punk rockers alike congregate on the corner of Churchill’s: the most infamous spot for punk music in Miami. With a bathroom resembling the unforgettable toilet scene in “Trainspotting,” what’s not to love? Stocked with two dimly lit pool tables, a large black room with a stage, an outdoor patio and two bars, Churchill’s certainly is not the flashiest venue in Miami, but it is one of the most down-to-earth. Expect to catch local bands like Holly Hunt, Torche and Testokra thrashing and moshing up the place until the wee hours of the morning.
Churchill’s is located at 5501 NE Second Ave.
While Churchills has by far been the most recognized punk venue since 1979, others have begun to catch on. Aside from weekly hip-hop events like Peach Fuzz and a wide variety of artists from STRFKR and Ra Ra Riot to Claude Vonstroke, Grand Central has hosted a number of well-known punk bands in the past few years such as The Casualties & Nekromantix. While the space is much more contemporary (and much cleaner) than Churchills, Grand Central can put on a good show. On Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., the two-story warehouse venue will host Black Flag, and rockers in Miami are pretty stoked about it.
“I feel like I should personally thank Grand Central for having Black Flag come,” Helmers said.
Grand Central is located at 697 N. Miami Ave.
For an even more underground spot, look for a pair of skeletons outside 164 NW 20th St. holding a banner bearing the words of Shakespeare: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
Enter Beezlebub’s Cave: the home, practice space and bare-bones BYOB venue of the hard-core threesome, Shroud Eater. The chains hanging from the ceiling are used by marauding party-goers to climb and dangle above the pentagram covered the floor. This is a pretty hard-core spot, so don’t show up expecting to stand passively in the corner.
Beezlebub’s Cave is located at 164 NW 20th St.