The Marías @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
One of the greatest things of going into a show with minimal knowledge or history or a musician or group is that your expectations are typically tamed in comparison to a band you absolutely love or have heard plenty about. You may be asking, 'who goes to shows to see a band you've never heard of or don't know much about?' Well, that's me. I don't mind exploring new artists (or new to me) and sometimes I find myself in the somewhat uncomfortable position of not knowing the words to songs, the name of band members, et cetera. But this also gives me the advantage of having no attachment to the artist, which gives me the freedom of watching and listening with an open mind, taking in every song (many times, the very first time I am hearing) and gauging the band, not only on their live performance, but their catalog as a whole. While I am familiar with the Marías, I was definitely not familiar with their catalog of songs they were going to perform at the Factory in Deep Ellum. These are my thoughts.

Upon arriving at the Factory, I was greeted with one of the longest lines I've seen of people waiting to enter the venue. And with a recent snow/ice storm, it was more impressive as these fans were braving some fairly cool temps, some who had been waiting for several hours prior to doors. Kudos to those fans. I've seen this sort of dedication for much larger acts at the Factory, i.e. Dallas-born Erykah Badu and Dallas-raised St. Vincent, but the thousands who stood waiting in the cool weather is a testament to the Marías, as far as I could tell from their previous dates, this was one of, if not, the largest stop on the tour.

From the onset of their set, or what I could tell from behind my camera in the confines of the photo pit, the band exudes the coolest vibes. Subtle lighting, pulsing bass notes, and María Zardoya draped in a long coat cooly singing the opening notes to "Calling U Back", one of eights tracks pulled from their debut album, 2021's Cinema. The genius of their set is that their music is easily digestible, meaning that everyone can enjoy it. And it's not that every song is similar, as there is quite a variation in their sound. It's hard to put your finger exactly on the pulse, because they can range from the gentle stylings of Cigarettes After Sex, the cool vibes of Chromatics, to the more complex funkiness of Tame Impala.

Comparisons aside, their set is chalk full of soul and funk that exudes the epitome of cool, from tracks like "I Don't Know You" to "Ruthless", the band had the entire venue bouncing. The band puts out an exquisite sound, creating a groove that pulses through your body and inserts an infectious soundbite that'll stay in your head for days. Even with the amazing music, you would think that Zardoya's voice would get lost in the mix, but even as subtle as it can be, she uses her voice as another instrument that helps create a dynamic unit. Songs like "All I Really Want Is You" and "Hush" push the Marías' music to a more progressive sound, much like that of the aforementioned Miss Badu and St. Vincent. While these tracks are outside of the chill and funk music that helped create their identity, they add another layer to help solidify a band that's only getting started. Ending their set with "Cariño", a song that is nothing but the chillest vibes, lifted everyone into another dimension. Seriously, it's one of the coolest songs I've heard and it was played to perfection. Their set was absolutely fun and I can't wait to catch them again.

Photos of the set are below:

The Marías @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX The Marías @ the Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on February 10, 2022 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.