Melanie Martinez at the Playstation Theater
Adorable comes to mind when I think of Melanie Martinez and her recent sold out performance last week at the Playstation Theater in New York City.
That might be strange given the fact that the entirety of her debut album, Cry Baby, is filled with dark fairy tale stories of love, poison, alcoholism and everyday life dramas.
Melanie Martinez lures listeners into nursery rhyme tinged lyrics that seem familiar and comfortable while simultaneously speaking to the darker side of all of us. She tells us the story of a character named “Cry Baby” and at first look, you might think she’s as adorable and non-threatening as she appears.
Still, one look beneath the pastel surface or a closer look at the lyrics and you’ll see that this doll-like persona is anything but harmless. She’s strong willed and full of unbridled emotion and yet still vulnerable to the ups and downs of life. When you listen to the album you’re not just hearing a twisted fairytale you’re hearing Melanie storm through life unapologetically and you learn that it’s okay to get a little crazy. It’s okay to be a little different or a little weird, it’s okay to not always be normal.
That can get quite dull real fast and at Melanie’s show that’s the last word that’ll ever come to mind.
I found Melanie Martinez last year and I don’t even remember how it happened. All I know is that the more I listen to her music the more of it I want which is why she’s already been featured on VR twice (here and here).
I’m a sucker for a good story and Melanie is a master at crafting a world for her music to live in and thrive. She has a direct hand in everything from set design, to what color the other half of her hair is going to be that day, to the music itself and everything in between. When you watch every video from the Cry Baby album each one fits seamlessly into the next and the world depicted within them is continuous.
Before her concert, her fans, ranging from those requiring parental escorts to those well into their thirties, camped out for hours in an attempt to get close to the stage.
A large amount of them came wearing pastel babydoll clothes, drawing brightly colored teardrops on their cheeks to represent the album, wearing her signature makeup looks, and half colored hair. They poured into the venue and fought so hard to score and then retain their spots that the security team had to drag out crushed attendees and physically get in the crowd to make them give each other space.
It reminded me of when I saw Lana Del Rey last summer. Her fans were mostly female and appeared innocent but as soon as they were within range of their idol they LOST THEIR MINDS.
After the opener, Alvarez Kings, finished their set and the curtain pulled back to reveal the stage setup it was pretty impossible for the security team to get the crowd to settle down. The stage was pretty impressive and fit in perfectly with the doll baby persona behind the Cry Baby album. It was crafted to look like a child’s nursery, complete with bandmates wearing teddy bear ears, a mobile, and alphabet blocks spelling out the album title.
As the intro music brought the crowd to a fever pitch Melanie popped out of the crib and began singing the song the album’s named after to tons of shrieking fans. She wore a green bonnet and bubblegum pink dress as she sashayed back and forth wearing the kind of socks you find on antique dolls. The crowd swayed along with her every movement and the excitement was palpable!
Praising Hand Emojis & Respecting One Another
I nabbed a secure seat with an unobstructed view on the upper level and it was legit the best decision of my life. I’m mosh-pit certified so I can handle a bit of pushing and shoving (& boots crashing into my forehead) at a live show. Still, at twenty-six, I was not in the mood to push and shove tutu wearing fourteen-year-olds. Haha
Thankfully Melanie stopped in the middle of the show a couple of times to urge her fans to chill out and respect one another. This made me want to throw up all the praising hand emojis!
That scored major points with me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a show where the crowd is killing each other to get a millimeter closer to the stage and the artist continues to perform as though nothing is happening around them. She addressed the problem and there was a noticeable difference in the crowds behavior once she made it clear that she didn’t want anyone getting hurt.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the show and the only drawback I have is that it was slightly shorter than I expected. Still, I would pay to see Melanie Martinez again. She played all of my favorites and any show where my voice is hoarse at the end is a win for me. Melanie has stated that the persona she’s developed for this album is just to tell this particular story. Her next effort will be focused on another and I can’t wait to see what twisted tale this rising female artist has to share with us next.
NOTE: Song Starts at 2:07. Some potentially disturbing imagery is included before that point. (*)
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