Marina And The Diamonds At The Academy – Review & Photos
Pop diva Marina And The Diamonds brings her neon nature show to Dublin’s Academy tonight, the first of two sellout shows. The oddly small choice of venue doesn’t make this a surprise. With throngs of fans ranging from the youngest teenagers to a more matured audience, absolutely everyone is in a frenzied sort of mood. With promise of a three act theatrical setup to the show, there’s a bit more excitement in the air than normal.
Finally emerging onstage in a ridiculous but amazing purple jumpsuit with accompanying rabbit ears, the first part of the show begins with ‘Mowgli’s Road’. Further singles from The Family Jewels, ‘Obsessions’ and ‘I Am Not a Robot’ are belted out in typical pop star fashion, with piercing synthesisers and indie tinged guitars akimbo.
After a quick costume change, Marina bursts back onstage for the Electra Heart part of the show with the infectious ‘Bubblegum Bitch’. Now donning a pink latex catsuit with hearts cut out of the legs, the place is set alight with confetti cannons and a set of more electronic dance based tunes. ‘Teen Idle’ and ‘How to be a heartbreaker’ inspire the crowd to really get involved and shout the lyrics as loud as they can back to her. Surely hitting the nail on the head for some with jaded lyrics of love in songs like ‘Lies’ adds substance to the tunes instead of just being lovely pop songs. An interesting contrast to the first act for sure.
Now re emerging for the last act in a blue kimono with fake fruit on her head, the Froot portion of the show is last up. Newer singles ‘Savages’ and ‘Can’t pin me down’ are spectacular, the latter really showing how excellent of a singer the diva is. In fact, the whole show is impossibly pitch perfect, an impressive and rare feat for pop stars such as herself. Closing the set with a powerful and emotional rendition of ‘Immortal’, the crowd instantly yearn for more, and make it vocal. Returning for a quick encore, singles ‘Happy’ and ‘Blue’ close the show. Showers of balloons fall from the ceiling during the latter, with all in attendance forced into dance mode whether they liked it or not. The flashy finale is quick but oh so sweet.
Watching a pop star perform with such a high production stage show in a venue like The Academy is bizarre to say the least. Clearly a show designed for small arenas, tonight was a charming spectacle to behold. The stage setup and intimate nature of the venue did wonders for the performance, and gave fans a chance to be up close and personal with their icon. When you throw in the fact that she was sublime on vocals, had an excellent band and played a set of hits on a new and alternative platform, you can’t really ask for more. This bona fide performer is so much more than your average pop star, and it was a pleasure to be in attendance.
Review by Finn O’Reilly
Photos by Tara Stanhope