Glam-pop princess Marina Diamandis turned the Greek Theatre onto its head Monday night with a wild presentation that tracked her transformation as an artist across her three-album discography. Opening with a string of hits from her debut album The Family Jewels, Marina and the Diamonds quickly set the tone of the night with their high-octane performances of “I Am Not A Robot” and “Oh No!”
Sonically, Marina and her Diamonds sounded great–flawless even. The Greek singer/songwriter showed a stunning amount of poise onstage, despite it being one of the largest venues she has yet to perform at. Maybe the theatre’s shared heritage offered Marina some familiarity and made her feel at home. But where the 30-year-old artist truly shined that night was in the way she managed to embody and manifest the ritzy glam her music both inspires and is inspired by.
The night was separated into three acts (not unlike a traditional Greek drama; we got the reference Marina), and just as the first act came to a close with the apt glitz-glam of “Hollywood,” the second act began: Electra Heart. The songs from Marina’s sophomore hit were steeped in the alluring glamorousness of stardom that infect starry-eyed pop star hopefuls–and as Marina emerged as that alter-ego, dressed in a skin-tight, pink latex suit, singing the opening lines of “Bubblegum Bitch,” she managed to elevate herself to that level.
Weilding a bubble-gun and darting across the stage she shared entirely to herself for most of the night (her loyal Diamonds standing above her atop large digital screens), Marina embodied all the sultry innocence of a young Britney Spears, with the confidence level of Gwen Stefani. By the time she began her third act, performances off her third album FROOT, the crowds packed into the Greek were beyond raving, caught under the spell of Marina’s charm.
Stepping out in a shimmering purple dress, Marina opened with the “la-la-la-la”s of her album’s eponymous track–embodying all the ritz and glam of a bygone era in Los Angeles’ past. It’d be easy to make the mistake of comparing her to Lana Del Ray, but while the two artists share a similar love of the aesthetics of 1920’s and 50’s Hollywood, their similarities in style end there. Marina brings an energy and emotional clarity that is as hypnotizing to watch, as it is to listen to. Her stage presence doesn’t just demand attention, it seduces you, and her occasional wink or blown kiss is a wonderful flirtation between her and her fans. Marina oozes an intimacy that is lost on many pop artists, including many she is often compared to, but while she can certainly shine brighter than the best of them, she also offers a sincerity and dedication to her artistry that can only be truly appreciated by seeing her perform it live.
Words & Photography: Steven Ward