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The Marías @ MoPop (Festival Review by Laura T.)

You could tell that the Marías were a highly anticipated act from the crowd at Mopop. Everyone from the people in the back, to the audience at the barricade, and even the photographers in the photo pit had an air of anticipation. When the band walked out, and eventually the lead singer María, they instantly began to perform their signature sultry indie pop as María waved to the crowd. They started off their set with the song Calling U Back, which was stuck in my head even during the later sets that day.

 

With their heavy bass lines contrasting against María’s breathy voice, the audience sang along to the lyrics in both Spanish and English. María fed off the audience’s energy and vice versa: as she danced and swayed across the stage, the audience cheered and swung their arms side to side. As the set went on, the crowd divided into two: those who continued to sing along to every word, and those (me included) who gazed at the band, almost in a trance from the visuals and María’s dancing. 

 

Even though the band hardly said anything in between the songs, The María’s performance felt very intimate. All the band members shared glances between each other and with the audience, inviting us into the world they created. Their visuals featured María’s face singing and switching rhythmically between different facial expressions, creating a larger-than-life spotlight of their lyrics, highlighting certain phrases of their songs by switching the color or frame of her face. 

 

The song Spin Me Around was a highlight for me, as the repetition and call and response combined with the heavy reverb created this dreamy landscape where it felt like I was spinning and everything could turn to a haze in a split second

 

Near the end of the set, María asked everyone to join her in their cover of Baby One More Time by Britney Spears. The pared down instrumental–mostly bass, synth, and guitar–calmed down the song, to where I felt like I was a main character of a movie walking into a smoke-filled bar. The song tied a bow around the whole set, wrapping up the hazy dream like experience with a song that the whole crowd could sing along to.

 

Review and Photo by Laura T.

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