Marina and the Diamonds: the Secret’s Out

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A line of apprehensive fans stretched around the block and up to the doors of the Riviera Theater, awaiting the start of the Marina & the Diamonds concert on May 20, 2013. As I approached the concert venue in the north side of Chicago, I was expecting to slip through the door and effortlessly grab a spot in the front. I was mistaken; one of my favorite “secret” bands is no longer so secret.

British singer-songwriter and musician, Marina Lambrini Diamandis, was discovered in 2010 after reaching number two on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll list, following Ellie Goulding at number one. Better known by her stage name “Marina & the Diamonds,” the indie-pop sensation sold out the Chicago venue and pleased the crowd by performing songs from both of her albums: Family Jewels (2010) and Electra Heart (2012).

Opened by 20-year-old singer-songwriter, Charli XCX, it was evening full of high-energy performances. Charli XCX pumped up the crowd with sexy performances of her breakthrough hit “I Love It,” and “You – Ha Ha Ha.” The young artist will continue touring America and Canada with Marina & the Diamonds, and then begin a Europe tour supporting Ellie Goulding.

For the main set, Marina & the Diamonds went all out by changing up her vintage-inspired look between songs and placing a luxurious long black sofa onstage, complete with an oversized teddy bear. Playing up trends from the 1920s, Marina created an alluring 1920s atmosphere where she was the showgirl.

Fans cheered and danced with excitement as Marina sang her most popular songs, from “Numb,” to “Radioactive,” to “Primadonna Girl.” Each new song topped the last, and long-time fans sang along with every word. 

The show was everything I could hope for. Besides some sound issues that made it difficult to pick up on musical details at times, it was an unforgettable evening. From glitter and confetti in the air, to Marina’s frequent costume changes, and Charli XCX’s suggestive and powerful performance, all left feeling satisfied by an evening well spent.



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