Although it had only been about six months since I caught a stellar Coachella set from Marina and The Diamonds, the palpable excitement and astonishing array of fruit-themed attire made it difficult for me to be anything but excited about seeing the indie-pop sensation at a venue that couldn’t have been more appropriate for a singer whose last name is Diamandis: The Greek Theatre.

Marina Diamandis first exploded onto the scene in 2010 with the release of The Family Jewels, a warmly received album with surprisingly contemplative lyrics housed in an infectiously hooky shell. For me, it was love at first listen. This was followed up by a concept album named after the artist’s more vacuous alter ego, Electra Heart, an uninhibited foray into electro-pop that showcased the various feminine archetypes that exist in popular American culture in all their shallow glory.

Marina and the Diamonds

This year marked the release of Diamandis’ most critically acclaimed album to date: Froot. Despite being the most lyrically poignant record she has released thus far, it’s a delightfully vibrant pop romp that is equally capable of hitting you right in the feels and lighting up the dance floor. Corresponding with the release of Froot was the announcement of the Neon Nature Tour, which was to be structured into three separate acts, each corresponding to one of Diamandis’ three albums.

A noteworthily strong opening set from Christine and The Queens, the musical brainchild of Nantes-native Héloïse Letissier, kicked off the night. Since she’s only released an EP’s worth of English-language songs, she had to dip into her native French catalog more than a couple times, but the crowd’s adoration for her couldn’t have been stronger. Her self-titled full-length debut was just released in the US last week, and with her quirky presence, hilarious interjections between legitimately solid experimental-pop songs, and array of seriously talented dancers, Letissier dazzled and proved to be one of the strongest openers I’ve had the pleasure of catching all year.

Everyone at The Greek collectively lost their shit when the woman of the hour exuberantly bounded on stage singing “Mowgli’s Road” while a tangle of jungle vines slithered over the screens in the background. That Diamandis had amassed a particularly loyal following was no shock to me, but I can safely say I wasn’t prepared to be partially deafened by her fans one song in.

The vocal adoration for Marina and The Diamonds didn’t subside until the end of the show, which I’ll say from the get-go was unequivocally outstanding. I was pleasantly surprised that lesser-known tracks like “Savages” and “Can’t Pin Me Down” were recited with the same faithfulness as singles like “Bubblegum Bitch” and “Hollywood,” an unsurprising crowd favorite given the locale.

Marina and the Diamonds

Electra Heart’s “Primadonna” was prefaced with an introduction to Marilyn, a toy dog that, according to Diamandis, shared her alter ego’s love of alcohol. Given that the track is one of the most recognizable ones in her catalog, it was met with obvious appreciation in the form of overly enthusiastic body flailing and shrieking.

Although we were already an hour into the set by the time the lead single off the album of the same name, “Froot,” was blasting in the venue, the crowd showed zero signs of fatigue. Since Diamandis had taken her place on the elevated portion of the stage for this one, she didn’t have the space to safely sashay around energetically, but even in a comparatively non-dynamic state, she was hypnotizing to behold.

Rounding out the list of noteworthy tracks is the follow-up to “Froot,” “I’m A Ruin,” whose formula of somewhat stripped-down, melancholic verses to a boisterous, emotional chorus proved to be the perfect vehicle to highlight the singer’s vocal talent (the possession of which has, sadly, become a rarity amongst her genre peers).

As my previous experiences with Marina and The Diamonds have taught me, costuming is taken anything but lightly. Metallic pink pants, skintight jumpsuits in a twinkling midnight blue hue, fruit-shaped headpieces, chiffon capes, and a variety of other colorful fashions were confidently rocked throughout the course of the night, and their outlandishness meshed well with the incredibly well-crafted visuals that accompanied each song.

Marina and the Diamonds

In a particularly touching moment, Diamandis opened up to the audience, stating that her father had been hospitalized and that she wanted to enlist our help in creating a “get well soon” video to send over to him. The obliging crowd was given a quick Greek lesson before the resulting video was recorded and sent off to her ailing father in Greece. Emotionally sincere moments like that are rare and beautiful to witness.

Going into this experience, I foolishly thought I was adequately prepared for what was yet to come. I was utterly mistaken. Although Marina and The Diamonds always captivates on any stage she graces, she was positively electrifying this time around at The Greek. With a more well-rounded catalog and production value befitting an artist of her caliber, she is now realizing her full potential on stage. I have no idea why this woman isn’t more popular, but I have a feeling that’ll be changing very, very soon.

Marina and the Diamonds

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