A week ago, I attended a Marina and the Diamonds concert in Pomona. Yes, as one expects, it was a magical, transcendental, orgasmic experience. Being one of the most genuine pop artists of our generation, Marina never ceases to amaze her fanbase, specifically her significantly large number of queer fans. Here’s why: if you’ve ever heard any of Marina’s songs, you know that she’s never shy about expressing herself, regardless of how unconventional, overly- individualized and ~strange~ her personality and music may be. Yet, these expressions are almost always tinted with irony, a little bit of melancholia and some anger towards being unable to fully and comfortably live one’s life away from stigmas, labels and traditional conventionalities. Most importantly, perhaps, Marina’s music praises the fulfillment of individualized sexual and romantic desires, above all else.
Through her songs, she does not settle for less than she wants and deserves, her universe and surroundings are meant to satisfy her, and she does not care much about traditions (Does she sound millennial? You bet. Do we millennials give a rat’s arse? We do not.) Marina is empowering, genuine, and has a very camp performance style. From elaborate head-dresses to glittery tracksuits and vogue-inspired dance moves, Marina visually takes her Diamonds (as she calls her fans) to a different dimension where they feel like the jewels that they are meant to be (cheesy, I know, but so is Marina). So, dearest queer person, If you’re not familiar with the priceless artistry of Marina and the Diamonds, get to it; or else, sashay away.
Now, I would like to pin-point a few moments from the concert that were very existential-crisis-inducing to me. Here it goes:
“YEAH HOMOS! YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT. SING IT! WOOOOOO HAHAHAHA,” exclaimed the seemingly intoxicated boy next to me. I laughed with him and continued belting out, “I’LL RUIN, YEAH I’LL RUIN YOU, I’LL RUUUIN, I’VE BEEN DOIN’ THINGS I SHOULDN’T DO!
Is that it? I thought to myself, at the moment: Is that why I am here? I knew I was there because I am one of Marina’s Diamonds. But could it be that perhaps this flawless queen wearing a shimmering tracksuit and a pair of glittery cherries on the top of her head strikes a really deep chord within those of us “homos” who feel like we’ve been doing things we shouldn’t do? But that’s for another time to think about. For now, let’s just dance.
Marina presiding over her Diamonds in one of her many costume changes.
And indeed, I danced. Emily (my best friend who was wearing a skirt made out of fruit-covered fabric) danced; the dude with a black heart on his cheek and the chick wearing a “grow a pear” t-shirt danced; All the non-robots, primadonnas, bubblegum bitches, Electra-Hearts, and heartbreakers sang and danced as Marina changed into several neon tracksuits and sang one anthem after another.
Then, without any prior warning, she started singing “Savages.” Why does there need to be a warning? Because, once Marina sings about the corruption of humankind, one must prepare one’s body beforehand for the amount of direct and pure cynicism that shall penetrate into one’s soul and inspire the noblest forms of sociopolitical activism.
“Underneath it all, we’re just savages/hidden behind shirts, ties and marriages…” The voice inside my head wouldn’t shut up: YEAH!!! Call them out, Marina!! CALL OUT THOSE PHONY MARRIAGES! Wait, gay marriage, though. I should be grateful for that, I guess. Wow Erik, this is why you’re one of those “homos.” It doesn’t matter, now. We’re dancing.
For me, perhaps the most memorable moment of the night was when she started singing “Can’t Pin Me Down” from her new album, Froot. The song is about being a 21st century girl who does not belong to any specific female stereotypes and she is completely happy about it. Naturally, because I am a vibrant 21st century girl (fine, boy), I started jumping up and down and shaking poor Emily’s shoulders, while yelling out the lyrics. And then I noticed that almost all of the boys around me were as excited as me about the song…the boys…What?! Why does one of Marina’s relatively gendered songs speak to us boys, so much? Is it because we’re “homos”? Wait. That’s for another time to think about. For now, let’s just dance.
And we danced. And she sang. And we had the time of our lives.