Liveshot: The Marías dazzle ACL audiences with romantic performance


Julius Shieh

María Zardoya, lead vocalist for LA-based band The Marías, performs at the Barton Springs stage at Austin City Limits on Oct. 16, 2022.

Sage Dunlap, Life & Arts Associate Editor

Indie-pop band The Marías gave Austin City Limits attendees a reprieve from the festival’s frenzied crowds Sunday, slowing down the evening with a soothing sunset performance. 

The Los Angeles band’s debut album CINEMA earned a Grammy nomination last year for Best Engineered Album — a nice send-off for their international tour this year. An enchanting musical fortress was constructed through the hour-long performance, building off the band’s mellow and sensual jazz-infused instrumentals. 

The set consisted primarily of CINEMA highlights, with some additions of an unreleased track and a cover of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time.”

Puerto Rican vocalist María Zardoya also gave a shoutout to her Latinx fans in Spanish, which led into the performance of the band’s collaboration “Otro Atardecer.”

Awash in red lighting, The Marías leaned on a romantic ambience to accompany their passionate jazz sound. From a dreamlike montage of Zardoya spinning in front of a red backdrop during “Care For You,” to her swimming in a bright red dress to accompany “Only in My Dreams,” the color wove a string through the performance as a dazzling motif — an additional nod to their all-red album cover.

With minimal choreography, Zardoya commanded the crowd with a sultry gaze and dreamy vocals. Sporting a vibrant red two-piece set and matching gloves to contrast the all-black outfits of her bandmates, she gave an alluring center-stage performance. Though Zardoya rarely spoke directly to the crowd, fan interactions interspersed throughout the set stuck out. During her closing performance of “Cariño,” Zardoya lept from the stage and mounted herself on the barricade to sing face-to-face with the first few rows — a joyous endnote for their set.