LOS ANGELES, CA-
“…The first act to step up onto the stage was Marisa Maino. When doing some internet research following her performance, I learned that she was part of a pop-punk group that got a little negative press in 2021. I won’t bother to rehash any of that nonsense here as she didn’t perform any of those group songs and focused on her solo material.
Marisa released a solo EP in 2020, Stages of Love & Heartbreak, and while her set consisted of a couple of songs from that effort, it focused mostly on music she’s released in the past year including some songs that haven’t been released yet.
Backed only by an electric guitar, Marisa’s set really allowed for the power and emotions of her vocals to shine. I’m sure if there was a pulsing bassline and driving drum track behind her, her performance would have been more kinetic, but stoically standing at the mic I think really allowed her to focus on her breath support and gave her more opportunities to engage the intimate crowd with eye-contact and facial expressions congruent with the lyrics of her songs.
I was a big fan of her songs “Bitter” and “Jenny”. I could only imagine how big the song “Bitter” could have been live if she had been backed by a full band. Though she shrugged it off, I thought she nailed the belted notes. I was thinking, “Man, if she had a full stage and could really use her body to get into those notes, that could really be something.” As for Jenny, I actually preferred the stripped-down version to the studio recording (which I also really enjoy). The sentiment of the lyrics felt more earnest when the layered vocals and studio airbrush are removed, making the song more impactful for me…”
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