La La Land: Post Valentine Magic – Sin Color’s Mexican Serenade in a Movie Studio
Post Valentine magic from Sin Color in a film studio
Crisia Regalado and David Aquino know how to stretch the romance of Valentine’s Day for at least one more night; they produced a post-Valentine’s concert in a film studio in downtown LA on February 15 that kept the romance alive with light, music, and serenatas.
Crisia and David are the core of Sin Color, a band started when they were teenagers (they have just barely left that cohort) built around Crisia’s opera-trained voice and David’s awesome music and composing chops. The result is a unique form of pop music that mashes up opera, synth, bossa nova, disco, cumbia, salsa, and traditional Mexican regional music. It is fun, energetic, romantic, and like nothing you have ever heard.
Sin Color is sometimes just the two of them, or it can be a full band with a keyboardist/bass player and a rhythm guitarist, or it can be what they call the Sin ColOrquestra which includes a 10-piece orchestra and two professional dancers. They sing in English and Spanish, and have a fanatical following which skews towards young Latinas who identify with the very diminutive Crisia and her huge, huge voice. David, the band’s electric guitarist, percussionist, composer and co-music director, also brings in his share of fans.
A key part of the CCS complex is a long, high-ceilinged sound staged with curved white walls and projection equipment. Into this was brought a bar, cocktail tables and stools, and a stage with full sound, and lights. The tables were decorated with candles and hearts and heart-shaped balloons, which also adorned the stage, the bar, and the sound and light equipment racks. Room lightening was kept low and the walls were drenched by the projectors in moving rainbow colored lights that looked like rain. Fans tricked in early, took selfies in the photo booth, and gathered around the tables or in small groups. The room was mellow, romantic, and relaxed for the very low-key warmup acts, Elia and Magic Marie.
That all changed when Sin Color took the stage. The mellow romantic mood took flight as the rainbow light drops gave way to a deep-space starry night and the band was bracketed by flashing strobes and rotating lasers. Crisia’s voice hit the highest of notes while David drove the room at full tilt on the tom-tom, snare, and cymbals, backed by a dancing rhythm guitar and thrumming bass. Smooching gave way to head-bobbing as the band launched into the Latin-tempoed “Semenjante” and “Tentacion” followed by the mesmerizing “Pensamiento” from Sin Color’s Frutas album” all with Crisia’s voice sailing like a rocket over the music, hitting notes unheard outside of a classical concert hall.
Crisia was following the centuries-old Mexican custom of las serenatas wherein a boy and his musician friends play and sing deeply romantic songs at the window of his girlfriend. Crisia’s songs were traditional Mexican serenatas with deep-from-the-heart words of undying love sung in melodies that would have fit well in the soundtrack of Coco. But as a woman she upended the custom and brought them into the modern world. Regardless of what world they were in, the couples at the table melted – and shot video with their phones.
The serenading pair moved on to the next table for two songs and then to the final table, surrounded by a cell-camera-wielding crowd who seemed to have no effect on the couples being feted. One serenaded woman I spoke to afterward said it was the most magical date she had ever been on.
After the serenatas – six in all – Crisia remounted the stage, still in her Mexican off-shoulder dress, and ramped the energy back up with “Cumbia Jam” and then wrapped up the night with a second cumbia-based song, ”La Siguranaba,” both from the Frutas album. However, before the band could exit the stage, cries of “otra” (another) pulled them back on for the final song, the album’s title track, “Frutas.”
Photos icon courtesy of Sin Color’s facebook – Photographer SandraFlores.net