Marina and the Diamonds | 05.17.13

marina 75Moving slowly and sensually, she kept the crowd screaming with her passionate vocals.

 

The Pageant, St. Louis

Charli-1

Photos: Alexy Irving

The energy was high in n a venue full of young people with Marina’s signature small, black heart frantically etched on their cheeks; the Pageant’s security alert level was even higher. Charli XCX started promptly at 8 p.m. and stood in front of a giant teddy bear, a television with the same view you would see if you stayed up too late in the ’70s, an old brown couch, and a coat rack with white and pink fabrics on it. In sky-high Reeboks, a red plaid skirt, and a black crop top, Charli XCX twisted her hips and flipped her hair like the rocker girl she really was. As she sang her version of Icona Pop’s song “I Don’t Care,” the crowd clapped and jumped along with her.

During “You Haha,” the mic stand turned neon blue and she popped her hips during every “ha ha.” After this preppy performance, she told the crowd how she just released her first album ever on April 12, True Romance, and the crowd should definitely go and get it. After the introduction to first single “Nuclear Season,” the crowd roared and her English-accented voice rang through the building.

During the last song, the crowd became most active with everybody’s hands waving in unison. Her performance of “Grins” was energetic as Charli XCX prowled the stage like a young, feminine version of Elvis Presley. The last song was definitely the liveliest; even the lighting was different: Instead of just focusing on Charli XCX, the lights streamed from left to right and bounced all over. Once the song was over Charli peace-d out the crowd, bidding them “Cheers.”

Before Marina and the Diamonds’ set started, a mannequin in a sky-blue suit took the stage. The TV screen in the back turned to a static screen and then the lights stayed dimmed for five minutes while the stage crew set up for Marina & Co. Finally the music began, with flashing strobe lights delivering an amazing display to the beat. The band—guitarists Alex and Chris, keyboardist Alice, drummer Sebastian, and then Marina—moved to the front of the stage. Wearing a two-piece, all-white dress, a bridal headpiece, and a bouquet of flowers, she began with “Heartbreaker.” During the hook, Marina threw her bouquet in the crowd and took the mic off the stand so she could dance with the bachelor in the sky blue. After spinning around with her suited plastic hubby, she ended her first song on the brown couch.

For the next song, she took off her headpiece and put on some bright-red, cat-eyed sunglasses. The lights flashed just about every color of the rainbow as she told the crowd, “I know exactly what I want and who I want to be” during “Oh No!” As she walked closer and closer to the end of the stage, my eardrums just about gave out from the screaming crowd. After the frenzy of the previous song, she then slowed the mood down with, “I Am Not a Robot.” The strobe lights turned a soothing blue with green streams as Alexy reached down to greet the fans.

Her onstage costume changes included a sash reading “Miss Shellfish Beach” and a laced robe with puffy sleeves. After the first half of the set she stepped offstage while the band played, and then returned, performing “Power and Control” in a black sleeveless crop-top and black flared pants. The lights once again did a stunning job keeping up with the singer. Every air punch was bathed in a stunning strobe light, as was each kick and hair flick.

She began her performance of “Starring Role” on the brown couch that, until now, had lain dormant in the background. Moving slowly and sensually, she kept the crowd screaming with her passionate vocals. After the hook played for the second time, the drums blazed and the song turned into a more energetic piece. The keyboard gleamed red as Marina played the “Obsessions” solo.

Clad in a white dress and mid-arm gloves, she threw balloons into the crowd, and then performed “Radioactive” as white lights and white balloons bounced all around the crowd. Before “Primadonna Girl,” she introduced her spoiled wind-up puppy and the crowd giggled. My all-time favorite Marina and the Diamonds song had me and the rest of her fans bouncing like no other. While the wind-up puppy trotted across stage, pink and red lights flashed all over and the mood settled as Marina and her musicians walked off the stage.

The crowd cheered “Ma-Ri-Na” for an encore and she came back on stage. Following a quick wardrobe change into a red dress, she sat back down at the piano and delivered a solo rendition of “Teen Idol.” The crowd sang along to every word, making it the perfect way to end the night. | Alexy Irving

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