I’m a firm believer in the power of pop music — sometimes what you need is a few hours of fun as a way to distract you from what’s happening in life. When it comes to an artist like Marina, whose thoughtful lyrics and unique aural identity make for one of the strongest pop artists of the last decade — concert-goers are in for an evening of fun with real heart behind it. Walking, talking proof that pop music doesn’t have to be dumbed down or sacrifice artistic vision to be successful.
Marina (formerly Marina and the Diamonds) brought her Love + Fear tour to Dallas’ Bomb Factory for the kind of show that only experienced pop artists with an unconditionally loving fanbase can give. Now 9 years past her major label debut The Family Jewels, Marina’s latest release (a double LP, Love + Fear) finds the Bubblegum Bitch growing up and into her thirties — and her fans are here for it. For most pop acts, fans still only want to hear the singles — the tracks that burn the charts and drive radio success. That isn’t the case for Marina’s Diamonds, who made up one of the loudest, most lovingly supporting crowds I have ever witnessed at a concert.
Now a few months after the release of Love + Fear, Marina’s audience has had time to digest, learn and love the record. Marina’s newer music — songs like “To Be Human”, “Orange Trees” and “End of the Earth” received the same voracious applause and love as her classics (“Primadonna”, “I Am Not a Robot”). While Marina’s setlist heavily featured her latest release, she certainly does not shy away from her past.
The crowd was even treated to a fantastic performance of “I’m Not Hungry Anymore”, an unreleased (at least officially) outtake from 2015’s Froot record. The song found Marina sitting down at a keyboard and performing a reworked version of the track, while the crowd sang along like the song had been a major radio hit. Her audience loves her, and it shows.
Marina’s voice was in amazing shape for the evening, highlighted particularly well during Electra Heart‘s gorgeous “Teen Idle”. The song was one of the best sing-along moments of the night, with the audience sharing the vocal responsibilities with their beloved lead Diamond. Marina was accompanied by a group of dancers for most of the show, and during “Emotional Machine” she welcomed out Georgia Nott from Broods, who had served as the opening act and who also performed on the album version of the song. Oddly, Georgia’s mic seemed like it may have been turned up too loud, which made her harmony work totally drown out Marina’s vocals for the track. It was one minor hiccup in an evening full of gorgeous music and performance.
Marina’s stage design was basic but executed well for the show she wanted to present. White risers offered Marina and her dancers platforms to showcase their abilities, while occasional props like light bars (during fan-favorite “Froot” especially) and music video projections (“To Be Human”) helped to keep things visually exciting.
I’ve been waiting a long time to see Marina live, and I can say with zero hesitation that she delivered on all fronts. It’s always great to see an audience that connects so strongly with the artist, and it seems to bring out the best in any performer. For me, Love + Fear is a triumph, and hearing so much of it live was everything I’d hoped it would be. Don’t miss her.
Marina – Love + Fear Setlist:
Enjoy Your Life
I Am Not a Robot
To Be Human
Believe in Love
No More Suckers
I’m Not Hungry Anymore
End of the Earth
How to Be a Heartbreaker
All photos by Steven Anthony.
Check out a few more selected shots followed by our full gallery below: