When I first saw Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis in 2013, she wore a pink wedding dress and veil, a staple of her pop persona, Electra Heart—a pitiless vixen prepared to do anything to achieve stardom. This year, she made a humbler entrance and left the theatrics at home. With her latest album, Froot, I wondered if we’d see a tamer side of Diamandis. But the second she kicked off “Bubblegum Bitch,” I knew nothing had changed.
The singer dipped into all three of her albums, but nothing satisfied fans more than when she circled back to her first, The Family Jewels. She held the mic out to the crowd, almost testing to see if they’d relay the chorus of “I Am Not a Robot,” and to her delight, they parroted back every line. When it came to the lyrically callous “Savages,” Marina punctuated every syllable, singing with enough gusto to tip a brick house.
The second leg of her performance served as the pop anthem halftime show. The crowd exploded at the opening lick of the retro, disco-esque dance track, “Froot.” The live version rivaled that of the album, especially near the end as she held a consistent high note, exercising her operatic vocals and sweeping her arm across the masses as though the motion would carry her siren song.
Air became electric during, “Primadonna,” and the pool floor shook as the crowd jumped at the drop of the chorus. Marina fed off this energy, playing up her voice on lines such as, I know I’ve got a big ego, I really don’t know why it’s such a big deal though. She stopped at each outpost of the stage, hooking fans with a roll of her hips and a playful wink.
Her parting song left us with quality advice on “How to Be a Heartbreaker.” She flashed a bit of skin for rule No. 4 (Gotta be looking pure) and sang the bridge from her knees. My only issue came from the short show. The songstress’ 12-minute tardiness swallowed up valuable set time, which left about an hour of performance. When you get a show like this, it’s normal to feel musically ravenous. ★★★★✩
I Am Not a Robot
I’m a Ruin
How to Be a Heartbreaker
Photos by Erik Kabik/ ErikKabik.com