Amber Mark’s show at the El Rey Theatre was packed from wall to wall Tuesday night. Just hours before, Mark performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live showcasing her outstanding set of husky vocals, overtop of bossanova and hip hop influenced beats. It’s refreshing to see a crowd in L.A. that knows all of an artist’s deep cuts and covers, as well as their popular songs. If you didn’t know, L.A. is said to have the toughest crowds, but that wasn’t a problem for Amber Mark. Fans piled in and showed Mark much love.
At one point Mark performed a cover of “Thong Song” by Sisqo and you would have thought she originated it with the crowds reaction. “I KNEW SHE WOULD SING IT!” “I WAS WAITING FOR THIS!,” yelled devoted fans on the show floor. There’s a cult following surrounding Amber Mark’s music that brings about a 90’s- esque vibe from her artistry. It’s a nice dose of dopamine that unleashes this unconscious nostalgia you didn’t know was there until you start grooving. I can’t wait until that perfect summer beach night where I can blast her new tracks on a ride back from Malibu. Until then, I’ve added “Foreign Things” and “Worth It” to my morning playlist.
Before I close out, let’s talk about Shaun Ross as Amber Mark’s special guest on tour. The El Rey was Shaun Ross’s last performance on this leg of Amber Mark’s tour. A renaissance man to the T, Ross is a fashion maverick on the brink of becoming a music icon. Throughout his performance he reminds us we have to “live our lives” and “fuck what others have to say” because, we need to be “living that good life.”
Siri please play “Livin’” by Shaun Ross on repeat.
Ross’s performance breathed life into the crowd with a smooth trance sequence that transported me to the yesteryear of New York Fashion Week parties and nights out in Manhattan. There’s a soft groove to the crowd, but when Ross gave us an acapella of “Nature Boy” by the incomparable Nat King Cole, the crowd had their minds blown. We all stopped dead in our tracks because the lyrics sound like his own. There is so much emotion behind the song that make it absolutely magnificent. The true power of Ross’s vocals go beyond him dedicating it to his boyfriend who he says saw him for him and believed in his potential. I can only hope he records a proper cover of the song one day.
Photography & Words by Asha Moné