This article and the photos in this article are by contributor Janira Hernandez
On Saturday, October first, alternative/indie band The Marías took the stage for their first hometown headlining show at The Greek Theater. The Marías are a native Los Angeles band composed of lead singer María Zardoya, Drumist Josh Conway, guitarist Jesse Perlman, pianist Edward James, Bassist Doron Zounes, and on the trumpet Gabe Steiner. With their latest first full-length album release of Cinema in June of 2021, The Marias started their Cinema tour earlier this year in January. They went through venues in North America, Europe, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Zardoya came together with fellow Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny for a couple of the singer’s shows to perform their collaborated song from the album Un Verano Sin Ti, Otro Atardecer. Tickets for the Greek Theater show became available in June of this year and sold out within two days. It is clear that this tour and album release has been a successful journey for the band.
The night started off with friends and artists Holdan Sutton and Lolo Zouaï opening up. Holdan performed first around 7:30 for the first time, debuting his album Swan. Lolo Zouaï followed briefly around 8 pm. Both performers certainly knew how to warm up the crowd as both artists delivered a unique and high-energy set. The crowd also was excited while the opening artists' sets were going on. Overall, the openers brought a special touch to the experience as a whole since Holdan and Lolo Zouaï are close friends with the band which made it much more intimate.
At 9:45 pm, it was time for The Marías to take the stage at The Greek Theater for the first time ever. The crowd was louder than ever. The boys of the band, (Conway, Perlman, Zounes, and Steiner) opened up with a lovely instrumental of the song, “Talk to Her” from their debut album Cinema. As soon as lead singer María Zardoya stepped up to the platform, the crowd went wild and the show began. After a couple of songs were sung, the singer opened up about her recent mental health issues stressing the importance of being open and the experiences of being a human going through life as everyone does. She explained that the week leading up to the performance, she had faced many panic attacks. In addition, she added that the day of the show was one of the most difficult days of her life and that she had a panic attack the morning of. She expressed how she did not get any sleep the day prior until about a couple of hours before the show. She thanked the audience for being understanding and patient since they did come on a little bit later than expected. Zardoya is one of the artists that has stressed the significance of prioritizing your mental health which made the show feel personal. Some of the songs played from their EP’s and Debut album throughout the show were “Calling U Back,” “Ruthless,” “Over the Moon,” “Only in my Dreams,” and “Heavy.” The setlist even included songs they don’t usually play at live shows such as “Jupiter,” “Fog as a Bullet,” and “Bop it up!”, and in addition a couple of unreleased songs. They also covered La Bamba and Sabor a Mí which was introduced with a beautiful guitar solo making it feel as if you were inside a Spanish film.
The experience truly made one feel as if they were in a movie. When it comes to visuals, the band and crew made sure to deliver the cinema aspect of their debut album, Cinema. The performance opened up with some beautiful visuals, each visual matching the feel of the songs they played. Red is what fans like to think is the band’s signature color and they incorporated that color as much as possible into the visuals. Whether it was an outfit change, to the performance of “Cariño,” to opening with “Calling U Back,” the color red became an essential element in adding to the feel of Cinema during the show. Many of the visuals included Zardoya herself lip-syncing to a couple of the songs they played. While Zardoya sang the song “Fog as a Bullet”, the backdrop screen displayed an image of clouds which is a reference to the lyric "volando entre niebla y el mar” which translates to “flying between the fog and the sea.” In turn, the backdrop added a sense of feeling as if you were in the song as the clouds moved slowly and the fog emitted from the machines dispersed in a dream-like way.
Finally, It was time for The Marías to close with the final song on the setlist, “Cariño.” This song has been the closing song of their shows for the entirety of the Cinema tour so it really feels special to sing along with the singer to it since it quickly rose to popularity upon release. The whole crowd loudly sang, everyone seemed enthusiastic to be there. It was definitely interesting to see how much one song can unite a crowd filled with more than 4,000 people in attendance. The show visuals ended with credits being displayed on the screen, giving thanks to the artists that performed and essential crew members that helped make The Greek Theater show possible. The overall performance felt like another universe. It was as if one was experiencing the creative universe of The Marías upfront.