Marina and the Diamonds at the Triple Rock Social Club

Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds - Photo by Meredith Westin

“Oh, Minneapolis, I am so happy to be here right now! I have to say, I thought it would be like three or four people,” said an enchanting of Marina and the Diamonds on Friday night at the packed Triple Rock Social Club. Admittedly not a common name on the airwaves this side of the ocean, the Welsh songstress put on her best for the Triple Rock’s crowd. And the crowd was definitely in a receptive mood.

Diamandis first strutted out on stage in her customary black lipstick, rockstar chain necklaces and dark sunglasses, looking for all the world like a straight-haired version of Madonna in her Like a Prayer period. With influences like Blondie and sounds like PJ Harvey, a flashy performance was not far from the expectation. Indeed, flashiness abound, as Diamandis switched to dollar bill-shaped shades and played through the songs on her recent The Family Jewels album, released in February.

This is the first headlining tour for Marina and the Diamonds, and the very first time touring in America, but if uncharted territory was daunting for the 24-year-old Diamandis, she didn’t let on. In fact, she played the small room at the Triple Rock like she had filled the Mainroom at First Ave, and the crowd that had come to see her seemed to know all her songs—or at least thought they knew all her songs. Either way, Diamandis rocked it like she was right at home.

“I’m so excited tomorrow because I’m going to play a show in South Dakota!” said Diamandis between songs. The crowd laughed groaned a little for her. “Really, that for me is like an American dream come true! …I’m trying to find a husband,” she continued, laughing as she said it. Even the guys who were tagging along with girlfriends had warmed to the energy of the show by that point, and Diamandis was beaming through sweat.

“Oh, there’s a willing girl down here, she says ‘I’ll be your husband!’ Well, okay!” And with that, the band broke into a furious rendition of “Shampain”, set to be the group’s fifth single, out in October.

Diamandis may be the U.K.’s Katy Perry equivalent, only a little more badass and with lyrics that are deceptively dark and confrontational underneath that upbeat powerpop. With lyrics like “I know exactly what I want and who I want to be/I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine/I’m now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy”, from her fourth single “Oh No”, Diamandis is a far cry from the typical carefree, sugar pop of some American names.  She may not be Lady Gaga, but she can definitely hold her own on stage and on the air.

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