Marina and The Diamonds returned to the Bay Area for the second time in 2015 for the first of two nights at Oakland’s Fox Theater. This was the 7th stop on her Neon Nature Tour which spans North America and Europe; culminating in a show at London’s Roundhouse in February of next year.
While not full to capacity (Wednesday night’s show has sold out however), the Fox had a comfortable atmosphere. Fans adorned with fruitful head-dress and girls in colorful glitter sprinkled sequin dresses made it a good place for people watching.
While Froot was released earlier in the year, this tour feels like it is for more than to just promote a new music. Split in to three acts it worked more like a greatest hits collection; an anthology of the music Marina and the Diamonds has released so far. The three acts were structured around each of her albums; The Family Jewels, Electa Heart and Froot. This structure made it easy to see how she has changed and developed as an artist. From the raw, gritty pop sound of The Family Jewels, to the more synth influenced sound of Electra Heart each act showcased a different moment in time for her music. For someone whose debut album was only released in 2010 it felt like a bold move, however one she pulled off with aplomb complete with colorful wardrobe changes.
It was the second act that was perhaps the most impactful. She exploded out of the blocks to “Bubblegum Bitch,” the crowd responding with hands in the air. “Lies” felt stronger in the grand surroundings of The Fox, the bass lines almost sounding like dubstep with their raspiness.
The visual element of the show was well thought-out – the stage was largely empty for Marina and the Diamonds to own as the video-screen wall played often quirky visuals.
The final act, Froot, was a chance for the newer songs to be given space to breathe. A sense of vitality seemed to protrude from these a songs as she grooved all over the stage in a green catsuit. The crowd responded back; “Forget” had people jumping and “I’m a Ruin” inspired voices to join in. And just like that, with an emotive rendition of “Immortal,” it was all over.
Her performance of “Happy” to start the encore provided one of the highlights, made even more powerful by the way it managed to still the venue following the cheers and chants demanding her return. Marina and The Diamonds’ Neon Nature Tour is a show of spectacle and energy. It is a chance to be reminded of the best of Marina and The Diamonds.