Marina & The Diamonds at The Olympia Theatre on 20th November 2012
It is a cold Tuesday night and there’s a stage decked out reminiscent of a fifties motel – complete with neon sign – while crowds of fans with hearts on their cheeks enter the Olympia. This can only mean one thing; Marina & The Diamonds have come to town. This is her second visit to the venue in only a matter of weeks – and second sold out appearance. Clearly, there must be something special about this girl.
Band members make their entrance dressed appropriately as a wedding band, complete with carnation buttonholes, followed by the centre of attention a veiled Miss Diamondis. Opening with Homewrecker, the crowd erupt with squeals of delight while Marina prances around making use of wind machines on either side of the stage.
As the band play the opening notes of Mowgli’s Road it becomes apparent that is going to be almost impossible to find anything to dislike about this show. Everything from Marina’s almost whimsical on stage theatrics to the crowd’s clear adoration is just perfection. When a security guard decides to place a stray flower behind his ear and bop along you know just how infectious the energy in the room is.
While the vast majority of the set consists of upbeat, danceable pop, it is during some of the slower moments during the set that this diamond truly shines. Lies is an absolute gem of a song that really showcases how accomplished a song writer she is. I Am Not A Robot is the first of many mass sing-alongs of the night and highlights Marina’s spectacular vocal range. It is a struggle to think of any other current female vocalist with such an incredible voice in a live setting.
With a variety of props on stage, including a chaise longue, hat stand, pageant sashes, pompom and a golden toy dog by the name of Marilyn, it could be very easy for the songs to be lost in the jumble. Instead we have a non-traditional performance from someone who is really an alternative musician having fun living out every young girl’s dream of being a flamboyant popstar; it manages to be slightly over the top, yet still credible. You can just tell that the show would be every bit as enjoyable completely stripped back without any pizazz and this is just Marina’s way of playing up to the extravagant Electra Heart persona.
The encore sees a quick costume change into a baby blue prom dress and “Teen Idle” sash for a stripped back solo performance of Teen Idle with Marina herself on piano. By now the audience are in fine singing form chanting along with every word. Going out with a bang, the finale of Heartbreaker sees the entire venue on their feet dancing as if the Olympia had suddenly become a nightclub.
Without doubt one of the best performances Dublin has seen this year, the talent that Marina & The Diamonds possess will definitely see them playing in much larger venues after the release of album three. A true superstar is in the making. Ireland can only hope Miss Diamondis will grace us with her presence at one of the big summer festivals.
(To the Olympia employee who played Beauty School Dropout while the crowd made their way to the exit, bravo. Inspired choice!)
I Am Not A Robot
The State Of Dreaming
Power & Control
Valley Of The Dolls
Fear And Loathing
Marina & the Diamonds Photo Gallery
Photos: Debbie Hickey