Marina and the Diamonds' 'Froot' ripe for picking at Marquee Theater

When Henry David Thoreau wrote “beware of enterprises that require new clothes” in the naturalistic tribute “Walden,” he obviously wasn’t referring to Marina and the Diamonds’ tour, “Neon Nature,” which came to the Marquee Theater on Oct. 16.

The tour, 151 years after Thoreau’s text, shows that a new pair of kicks (as well as sequined headwear and chiffon) should be donned to celebrate neon, glitter and kitsch from decades past. Marina Diamandis, lead and creator of the project, headlined “Neon Nature” for her album “Froot,” which was released last fall.

The opener, Shamir, an emergent electronic musician from Las Vegas, played hot hits, my favorite of which were “Hot Mess,” what they described as an autobiography, and “Sometimes a Man.” Shamir egged the crowd on to “get rachet,” which I took literally, but others in the crowd stood motionless.

Marina opened with “I Am Not A Robot,” which was accompanied by three giant screens, on top of which sat a band. It was a huge production that put Marina front and center and did not disappoint. These older songs from her debut album “Family Jewels” were not written for that huge production, to the concert’s detraction.

Marina came out in shiny pink parachute pants, Mickey Mouse-style sequined ears and a shirt that matched the texture of her pants. I could hardly contain myself. I should note here, however, that as a gay person, I have a storied history with Marina and the Diamonds going back several years.

The third song in the “Family Jewels” era was “Oh No,” and the three giant monitors flashed emojis. At that point, I realized that we were headed to the point of no return. Emojis flashed in rapid succession, and at a pop concert that is a sure sign of the apocalypse.

She ended “Family Jewels” set with “Obsessions,” but it didn’t make sense to have a mammoth staging with screens playing “Betty Boop” clips. Marina sat at a piano, singing an intimate ballad among the enormous technological advances pop music uses advantageously in so many other ways.

Marina then transformed into “Electra Heart,” replete with a costume change — peach spandex with a chiffon cape. With confidence and poise, she took us back to 2012 when that album was released. “Bubblegum Bitch” was a surefire banger, with the pop-soaked screens flashing candy hearts and lipstick kisses.

Finally, “Froot” ripened and Marina gave the audience what it wanted: a sequin blue body suit with blue cherries as her crown. The queen had arrived. The “Froot” costume change took a little too long and the songstress missed her cue, which she blamed on the Phoenician heat. Understandable.

While earlier ballads seemed overproduced, sentimental songs off the new album, like “Ruin,” fit right into the staging, which was simultaneously a blowout and a quiet reflection on the themes of the latest release.

Marina closed with “Immortal,” and, upon reflection, the evening flew by. The singer was a natural performer, inviting the audience closer while maintaining poise in the heat of the moment. From "Family Jewels" to "Froot," this pop sensation will continue to be a top choice for years to come. 

Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article misspelled Marina's last name. The article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling. 


Reach the managing editor at pnorthfe@asu.edu or follow @peternorthfelt on Twitter.

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