THE MARÍAS with Moon King at The Crocodile
August 1, 2019 in Seattle
Words by Aarin Wright, Photos by Marcus Shriver
It’s 9:50 p.m. on a Thursday evening and the air smells only of sweat. Standing directly in front of The Crocodile’s stage among a sold out crowd in the peak of summer has led to the aromatic situation.
There is no noticeable AC. People are downing beers for hydration and fanning their faces with recently purchased LPs. However, the thick humidity carries a communal positivity. Tonight we see The Marías, on the final night of their first sole headlining tour.
Frontwoman María has dressed for the occasion. She takes the stage to D’Angelo’s “Really Love,” debuting a black corset and satin top and bottoms, covered in, most appropriately, crocodiles. Her cherry red guitar is the pop of color against the black and white ensemble.
“I’m super comfortable right now in my pajamas,” she admits.
The psychedelic riff of “Cariño” offers immediate release from the sweltering surroundings. The crowd responds in a fluid wave, gaily grooving to the dreamy bilingual rock. María’s vintage jazz vocals are cool breeze, allowing us to forget our work troubles and rising body temperatures throughout the hour and a half set.
“Cariño, eres un amor…”
There are two stars of the evening. María, the obvious first, works the stage like a ‘90s pop star. She struts from one side to the other, directing each note to a different face in the audience, and paying homage to Brittany Spears with a cover of “…Baby One More Time.”
But it’s trumpeter Gabe Steiner who steals the spotlight each time he emerges from hiding, popping out from behind dark curtains to wail on the bridges of “Ruthless” and “Basta Ya.” The crowd goes nuts for his sporadic brassy soprano, humming along with the melody in nonsensical gibberish.
Toronto-based Moon King’s opening set of synth-heavy electro-pop breathed energy into the early crowd. His gyrating, cowboy hat-adorned dance moves and complex bass lines momentarily transformed The Crocodile into a neon-filled nightclub.
“This is your last chance to shake your ass, so feel free,” he called out before his final number.
The Marías are clearly in celebration mode as well, as drummer Josh Conway calls for a disco ball as backdrop to the floaty romantic tune “Over The Moon.” After their thunderous encore call (a feat in faint-worthy heat), he returns solo to the stage to lead the masses in a rendition of the “Cha-Cha Slide,” a true gift to their Millenial/Gen Z cusp fans.
As this is my third time seeing The Marías in Seattle, it’s intoxicating to watch their entire discography performed as the crowd belts every lyric back. With each tour larger than the one before, it’s obvious their growth won’t halt anytime soon. I eagerly look forward to round four, five and six (though pray it’s in a cooler venue.)
Check out more of Marcus Shriver’s photos in this handy album on our Flickr page.
- Only in My Dreams
- I Like It
- Over The Moon
- I Don’t Know You
- …baby one more time
- Basta Ya
- Lover Boy
- Déjate Llevar