From the moment the hour struck 8, the stage at the Maria Isa CD Release Show for her current album Street Politics, was like a floor to ceiling threshold of nothing shy of good music. The talent that the songstress brought with her to celebrate her latest offering to her hometown crowd was a mixed bag of entertainers that covered the best in every genre of music that cultivates within the growing scale of the Minnesota Sound. From Hip Hop, to Ska, to a bit of Rock N' Roll, the easily sold out crowd went crazy with support for every opening act that set foot on the stage.
The crowd trickled in slowly as the night began, but as Hip Hop favorites like St. Paul Slim and I Self Devine hit the stage, mixed in with the musical treats offered by Mayda, Kill the Vultures and the kings of “geek funk” Dance Band, it was clear to everyone who appreciates good music that this was a gem of an event that had a priceless lineup. The MC of the evening was none other than Muja Messiah, who just moments prior to the lady of the night emergence unto her much deserved spotlight, took a break from making the announcements to serve the eager crowd with his lick of Hip Hop heat.
As the evening went by effortlessly, the countdown to Maria Isa and her Bakers Dozen's sought after performance began as a white screen came down from the ceiling with a narrative video of her journey to Street Politics. The five-minute film portrayed a message of pride and quite like her diverse opening acts, that phenomenal spirit transcended throughout the colorful crowd who bonded together under the arch of SotaRico to support Minneapolis' princess of Latin Hip Hop and Soul.
As the screen lifted and the infectious sounds of her new song “Derechos” came drifting effortlessly from 22-year-old Maria Isa's vocals, the night having begun several hours prior, had now finally arrived at its hour of heightened fascination.
The hour plus set was filled with a mix of everything: Latin, Hip Hop, and even a bit of Rock and Pop. The audience had the opportunity to get a raw taste of Isa's new album. Throughout the night there was a constant delivery of foundation shaking rhythms. At one point in the show she was accompanied on stage by two of her featured artists on Street Politics, Muja Messiah and Killa Capone when they performed the sexy song “Never Let Go” and the title track “Street Politics.” As if she could top the already roof shattering evening, she then offered the crowd a reason to fear the dentist when she sweetened the musical deal by performing her first single off the new album, “Caramelo.”
Quite like the flowers adorned in her hair throughout her performance, Isa’s music was a lush garden of effortless melodies that interchanged in their sound, but never disrupted in its beauty. Her live band that resounded her unrivaled vocal instrument added that touch of authenticity that easily could make them America's next Gwen Stefani and No Doubt.
As the evening drew to an end there was a silent hum of sadness that swept through the room as the crowd reluctantly filed towards the door wishing the show didn't have to end. It is said that reliving a night of perfection is something permitted solely to the owner of fictitious time machines or make believe time travelers, but nowadays there is a way to repeat that incomparable magic. If you're as intelligent as I was after I heard the last melodic note fall from the First Avenue stage, you didn't hesitate to cop Street Politics. At least in your disk player the rotation of good music never has to end.