LIVE: Full Crate & Mar, Montserrat House, DC

Mar’s music is made for close quarters, dim lights and good spirits. Last friday, The Montserrat House was that place. The intimate venue that hosted a crowd of delicate women and ‘date night’ couples welcomed Mar and frequent collaborator Full Crate with open arms. The Dutch duo, currently on a summer tour, made this their second appearance in DC in as many years. DJ Cam Jus warmed up the crowd and Mar could be seen mingling shortly before taking stage. Mar’s care free European attitude is evident when watching him interact with the crowd but this unsuspecting character commands attention once on stage. It could be the hair, but I’m leaning more towards his ability to make anything sound ‘cool’ as to what makes Mar so intriguing.

Take “My Absolute” for example. The standout track and my personal fave from his recent EP, Seeing Her Naked, served as the show’s opener, quickly moving the focus from the ‘after work friday night conversations’ to Mar’s modest sound. Now with the crowd devoted solely to the duo, Full Crate cued up “She Was Fly” to the pleasure of many of the nights onlookers. Obviously a crowd favorite, Mar played along, with a repetitive description of such woman. Though the crowds love for She Was Fly was apparent, personally I became a fan of Mar when I stumbled upon his ‘Variations’ series. In fact it was his cover of Lil Wayne’s ‘Single’ that caught my attention as well as that of others. But before getting into that ode to newly founded relationship freedom, Mar grabbed his guitar, took a seat and gave us a quick rendition of Andre 3000’s prototype, as well as a folksy soul song he called “Blues”. Once Mar intro’d ‘Single’ the crowd was once again charmed by Mar’s smooth character and voice.

Let’s not forget that this duo is from Amsterdam, so the night was not limited to seductive bedroom music. They made sure to leave a little room for fun. Full Crate played an eclectic and funky solo set called “Crates Thing” while Mar danced in the crowd. By this time, the dim lights and good spirits had captured the room and Full Crate and Mar’s chemistry seemed to be working the crowd. They ended the night with the Slum Village/J Dila tribute ‘2u4u’, followed by the upbeat “We’re So Broken’. In all, the night could be summed up much like I described it before, close quarters, dim lights and good spirits. Mar flirted with the crowd, literally and vocally, while Full Crate provided the sound. Check out Full Crate and Mar when they come to your city for a good time.  — Shep


1080p from Jamaal on Vimeo.