The Diamonds were out in full support for Marina’s final stop on her US tour at the sold-out El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on Friday the 17th of September. (Marina is a singer/songwriter, The Diamonds are her fans.) This was a homecoming show of sorts; Marina and the Diamonds is from the UK (she’s Greek and Welsh), but she has an affinity for the US and the “Hollywood culture”, and she has said that she feels more at home in the US than in the UK. Home is where the heart is, and clearly Marina felt at home on stage at The El Rey, and the Diamonds welcomed her with open arms, lots of cheers and applause.
The first thing I noticed was the diversity of the crowd; from young girls to older hipsters, trendy art consumers to anti popular culture teenagers, they were all represented. And everyone was there not only to see Marina, but to sing, dance, and have a great night. The atmosphere was intense and energetic; the Diamonds are very loyal and devoted. Some were even sporting the “Oh No!” glasses, (which I sadly missed out on).
Marina stepped out and kicked the show off with “Outsider”, followed by “Girls”, and “Seventeen”, a track on the US release of her album, The Family Jewels. Marina’s singing was on point and she was full of energy. The crowd was invested and dancing from the moment she took the stage and never stopped.
The show kicked into another gear with “I Am Not A Robot”, which was clearly a crowd favorite. The crowd was cheering louder and was singing along. It was incredible, so awesome that Marina was taken aback, “I have to be honest; it’s not very professional, but I feel really overwhelmed tonight. [loud cheering] Oh My God! You see, last summer I came and played here at the Troubadour, who was there? Alright, And I told you I’d come back!”she said.
“Oh No!” was next with a beautiful a cappella intro, followed by more singing from the crowd. Her dancing/choreography was brilliant, a mix of dancing and posing. It was unique, and Marina worked it. Marina made her way to a piano to play “Numb” and “Obsessions”. On “Obsessions”, she slowed the tempo down a bit, which was great, but threw the audience off as they were singing along, or trying to. It was endearing and made it more apparent that the crowd, The Diamonds, were there to have a good time.
After “Rootless”, Marina left the stage and came back dressed in a high school varsity jacket and large stuffed hamburgers in her hands; it was time for “Hollywood”. It was amazing to hear Marina sing “Hollywood” in LA given her obsession/fascination with LA/Hollywood. Marina was enjoying the moment, dancing and having a blast, as was the crowd.
Here’s what she said after the song, “You know, some people ask me about that damn song; do you love or hate America. And it’s not love or hate, it’s an addiction. Because I feel more at home here than the UK. I don’t know what it is, so I’m going to come here to stay. I’m going to have lots of inspiration.”
The she proclaimed, “Drink to forget, don’t forget to drink!”, as she went into the fantastic “Shampain”, armed with a tambourine. There was more audience participation as Marina encouraged the audience to sing-along and clap to the beat. Another standout moment of the night.
Marina was definitely feeling the love that was being showered upon her by the Diamonds, “I absolutely adore you as well. Thank you so much for coming out tonight. You know, it’s very hard to express sometimes without sounding very cheesy or cliche when people say I love my fans!, but I really do. And maybe there are some people here who like a few songs but are not sure about the Diamond thing. 5 years ago I created Marina and the Diamonds, and I imagined you before you even existed. So thank you so much. You made my life, honestly.”
The end of the night was fast approaching as “Are You Satisfied?” was the next song she performed. Even Marina was surprised at how fast the night was moving, saying, “You know what? A gig always goes very quickly when it’s very exciting for me, or I’m quite nervous about it and it’s flown by. Almost at the end.” She ended the show with “Guilty”.
But of course, the crowd was excited when Marina came out for an encore. She lifted a cup of whiskey while she said, “I raise my whiskey to you. I’m so happy tonight! Thank you for being an excellent last night of tour audience.” She did her amazing cover of “Starrstruck” originally by 3OH3! and Katy Perry. She did it on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge in April.
“Until next time LA. I am Marina and you will always be Diamonds. Thank you so much!”, said Marina before the closed the show with “Mowgli’s Road”. At the end of the song, she threw her mic down and walked off as the crowd exploded in applause.
Marina is fantastic. I absolutely love her album and at the El Rey, Marina proved that she is not a studio creation, but a talented artist. She even stayed after the show to chat with some fans and spent at least 15 minutes with them/us. She is genuine and really does care about the Diamonds.
I’ve been going to lot of shows lately, and I really had a blast with Marina and all the diamonds. They were ready to have fun, and we had fun. If you get a chance to experience Marina and the Diamonds live, don’t hesitate, you will not regret it.
(This post should have been posted a while ago, but I kept getting distracted by Marina’s music every time I sat down to write it all down. I had a blast and wanted to do the review justice (hopefully I did). I also had to transcribe my notes and quotes.)