- 01 Nov 19
The Greek-Welsh popstar's latest world tour hit Dublin with Allie X in the opening slot
Since her previous Irish gig - all the way back in 2015, Marina Diamandis quit writing music entirely. Battling self-doubt, a bout of depression and unsure if she would ever release an album again, she enrolled in acting classes, completed a floristry course and began studying Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London.
Ultimately, a break from the industry allowed Diamandis to find creative clarity and fall in love with making music all over again. And slowly but surely, she began writing her fourth studio album, Love + Fear.
Returning to The Olympia on Wednesday night, Diamandis has shed her “Marina and the Diamonds” identity for good. On wistful mid-tempo opener, ‘Handmade Heaven’, she sings of being jealous of free and purposeful birds. Marina has come to the conclusion certain aspects of her life no longer work and so she is striving to be just like the birds she envies. It's a thrilling promise of what the evening has in store for Diamondis’ cultishly devoted fans - comprised of mostly women and queers.
Prior to performing further cuts from her fourth album, she launches into a flurry of cheeky bubble-gum pop songs that made her famous in the first place. On 'Hollywood', she memorably declares, "Oh my god, you look just like Shakira. No no, you're Catherine Zeta. Actually, my name's Marina."
“I’m so happy to be back here. I love Dublin so much. This next song is for all the prima donna girls and boys here,” she declares before old fan-favourite, 'Primadonna'.
Overall, the gig is best be described as a contemporary theatre show. There’s a large white tilted backdrop which sees different projections throughout, and along with several costume changes, Diamandis effortlessly executes more choreography than in previous tours.
Just like it’s album, the Love + Fear Tour is split into two acts. “The first half of the show has been dedicated to love, and the second half will address fear,” she explains.
Before belting out 'I Am Not A Robot', she endearingly states, "We are going to play a song for you that is ten years old. And I play it every-time I come to Dublin. I still love it. I don’t ever get bored singing it. I know Irish people are really good singers so if you know the lyrics please singalong with me.”
The deep cut is followed by 'To Be Human' – the most politically charged song of the night. The music video, containing images from iconic moments in history such as the #BlackLivesMatter marches, Hiroshima, and various pride parades, is projected on the large backdrop.
On ‘Teen Idle’, one of the evenings many highlights, she sings, "Wish I’d been a prom queen fighting for the title. Instead of being 16 and burning up a Bible. Feeling super, super, super suicidal.”
A surprising moment comes midway through the second act, “I’m going to play an unreleased song on the piano now. It was meant to go on FROOT but I never finished it on time. It’s called ‘I’m not Hungry Anymore’." Sitting alone at her piano, the popstar showcases her vocal prowess - its arguably the best moment of the night.
The evening comes to a close with ‘End of the Earth’ and a thumping rendition of ‘How to be a Heartbreaker’. Bravo Marina, although less daring and outrageous than before, she firmly remains a diamond among today’s crowded pop scene.