"My Friday Night with The Marías" by Blanca Reyes

May 18, 2019

The Marías are a bilingual psych-soul band who are based in Los Angeles consisting of lead singer, María, and bandmates Josh (drums and vocals), Jesse (guitar), and Edward (keyboard) who are currently touring the states. I had the opportunity to see them in concert on April 26th in Texas and even though my body was sore for days after the concert, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I first discovered The Marías on Spotify, of course. Their song “Over The Moon” was on repeat for what seemed like an eternity (I’m still not over it) and it was the song I was most excited to see performed live while I was waiting in line at the venue. And I was not disappointed when that moment came, I nearly cried. The whole set was filled with María’s velvety smooth voice, the backing vocals of Jesse and Josh, a quick interactive intermission with the fans led by Josh, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a fan and 3/4ths of the band, and the iconic Dave, who played the saxophone throughout the show. Every time Dave came on stage, the crowd just erupted into cheers for him because he added this extra level of fun and soul to the night.

On a deeper level, being Mexican-American, I have a personal connection to two different cultures and when I listen to The Marías, I can feel and hear those two cultures blended to perfection within the music and lyrics. María was born in Puerto Rico and was raised in the states (Atlanta, to be exact) and what I love so much about The Marías is, they balance and transition two languages and cultures beautifully through their music. I also saw it first-hand at the concert when I could tell the girls next to me were nervous about singing the Spanish lyrics themselves but still belted them out best they could. That’s one of the things that was so great about this concert - the atmosphere that The Marías were able to create with their personalities and their music was probably the nicest concert crowd I have ever experienced. Those girls didn’t have to worry about being judged for not knowing perfect Spanish because at the end of the day, we were all there to enjoy great music and to have fun.

Speaking of nice crowds, shoutout to Monica and Andrea. After the concert we waited outside by the band's trailer to meet them and ended up sitting in a circle on the pavement just talking about our favorite music. It took us a good while before we realized The Marías had already started their meet-and-greet inside the venue (it was a dumb moment for us), but I really am grateful that I met them that night because without their encouragement and positive energy, I wouldn’t have had the guts to talk to the band and ask them for a picture. I have horrible social anxiety so the fact that they were able to make me feel comfortable so effortlessly, enough to go up and talk to a band that I admire, is something I will never forget.

Not only was the crowd super nice, but the band members themselves were interactive and they truly cared about getting to know their fans. Like I said, I met the band members after the concert and took pictures with almost everyone. Josh and I talked about how we saw him outside before the concert and he forgot his dinner in the band’s trailer (R.I.P dinner), Jesse was busy working with his guitar but still jumped off the stage just to take a picture with me (I was so nervous to ask him for a pic so thanks for that), Doron, who is playing the bass on tour, also jumped off the stage to take a picture with me and was such a sweetheart. I was so nervous to meet María that instead of using that opportunity to tell her how much I relate to her and am grateful for the band’s representation of the Latin community, I rambled and just told her how my friend was in love with her but I made her laugh so it was a win. I also was too nervous to ask Edward for a picture. Edward, if you’re reading this, I am a coward and I regret not having the guts to talk to you.

All in all, my Friday night with The Marías was a true dream. As a Latina, I’ve always felt pressure to like certain things - especially certain types of music and bands that I just can’t get around to liking. It’s refreshing to find a band who not only has those Latin influences that I was made from but also the American influences that I was raised around. It was an honor to see them live and meet them in such an intimate setting. They’re on tour now - get your tickets! You won’t regret it.

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