Concert Reviews

Mariel Ito Played a Free Show at Beauty Bar on Monday Night

Elvis Anderson
He was Mariel Ito on Monday night.

Beauty Bar is typically closed on Monday, but not this week. It was shoulder-to-shoulder, maximum capacity to celebrate the birthday of a local boy done good.

Eric Estornel, aka Maceo Plex, aka Mariel Ito, is Dallas’ most successful electronic music DJ and producer. Originally from Miami, the Cuban-American Estornel moved to Dallas as a teenager, and Big D feels like home. A business decision that led him to move to Spain almost a decade ago has gone well. Estornel is one of the most respected DJ-producers in the world. He has a Tuesday residency on the Spanish island of Ibiza, which for a DJ is like being a three-time Super Bowl champion.

His most recognized moniker is Maceo Plex, but Monday night, he was Mariel Ito, playing electro sounds. Scott Canfield, aka DJ Red Eye, and Brian Bishop, aka VectorVision, joined Ito on the controls, and the trio capped the evening with a back-to-back-to-back electro DJ rotation.

Before showtime on the back deck, Canfield told Estornel, “We’re on in five minutes.”

“Scotty, you’re never this organized," Estornel said with a laugh. "Since when have your parties operated on schedule?”

“In all seriousness, tonight is casual, this is about friends and just playing. We’re gonna have fun and be around the crew,” Ito tells the Observer.

“In all seriousness, tonight is casual, this is about friends and just playing. We’re gonna have fun and be around the crew." – Mariel Ito

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“I throw all of Eric’s parties in Dallas," Canfield said. "I threw his going-away party when he moved to Spain, birthday parties and welcome home parties. I have my residency here on Fridays and It’ll Do on Saturdays, of course. We’re [Beauty Bar] not even normally open on Monday. This is a special occasion. Tonight’s sound is electro, indie, robot love – it’s a breakup of moods. Not straightforward dance music."

With headphones in hand, they made their way through the thick crowd for the DJ booth around midnight. For the next two hours they performed as promised — electro, robot love music. On occasion Estornel offered the techno sounds he’s most famous for.

The room was packed tight without a lot of room to dance. It was 60 degrees outside and a steamy 90 on the dance floor. Several cellphones were raised in the air to document the moment. The crowd was a large collection of astute, in-the-know electronic music fans. Dallas club owners, promoters and DJs were in the place to show appreciation, say happy birthday and tell Esternal, “Welcome home.”