While I am a die-hard fan of music in various genres, I have to admit that I’m not easily sold on most newer artists. Maybe I’m stuck in a time warp, but I find that many modern musicians have less consistency in their sound, less originality, and more over-produced, artificial, dictated tunes – sprinkled with mundane performances by the performers who rarely live up to the studio production. But… every once in a while, I find a glimmer of hope in the storm of mediocrity. Melanie Martinez springs hope for those of us who find ourselves ready to give up on that genuine artistry that makes music infectious, meaningful, powerful, and relate-able.
Rising from the shadows of her center-stage crib, Melanie Martinez sent Orlando fans into an absolute uproar when her Cry Baby tour recently wailed into House of Blues at Disney Springs. Originally scheduled for March, but postponed until April due to illness, the sold-out erformance was undeniably worth the wait. Though she may be small in stature, Melanie’s passion, and her ability to command the adoration of a crowd are larger than life. I have attended hundreds of concerts, and I cannot personally remember the last time I saw such dedication and unbridled excitement from an audience, or felt such a surge of love. Almost as entrancing as the show on stage, the audience put on a show of their own. From start to finish, it seemed that every single guest was moving in sync, while singing every word right back to the obviously appreciative, dynamic force of nature that is Melanie Martinez. There is no denying it – this girl is simply adored. And it’s no mystery as to how she manages to woo the masses. Melanie has got everything to offer her “babies”, and then some.
It’s more than just the music. While she certainly has the pipes, and her lyrics practically reach out and grab your soul – flipping the switch on a spectrum of guttural emotions, she also has the -alities: originality, individuality, and personality – that make her stand out as a true artist. Her sincerity and self-awareness make her so easy to appreciate, love, and admire. There’s no one pulling these strings… it’s purely a reflection of her life and her soul.
Melanie is often referred to as being on the quieter side, but she rumbled across that stage with power, forcing out song after song with an incredible fierceness – and there wasn’t a slow or quiet moment to be had. Opening with “Cry Baby”, she went from 0-60 in one note, and the train never slowed from there. She tore through fan favorites such as ” Tag, You’re It”, “Mrs. Potato Head”, and a remarkable performance of “Soap”, delivering nearly every tune she’s put out for the fans to devour before “Cake” gave way to the “Mad Hatter” encore. And, can I just say… she did it all while wearing one of the most adorably perfect outfits I have ever seen. That’s just Melanie – that’s the complete package.
I’m taking a slight turn in my usual approach to reviews here. You see, this wasn’t just another show on my roster of reviews. This one was a bit more personal. My daughter, Sierra, is a contributor to ComeSeeOrlando.com, but she is also an exceptionally devoted fan of Melanie Martinez. Sierra is not usually one to attend concerts with me. Her contributions fall into other categories of coverage generally. Sierra has difficulty with large crowds, and she has had unpleasant experiences at concerts in the past. She is also a bit quiet, shy, and frankly, unenthusiastic at times – even when it comes to things she enjoys. As a mother, I have to personally respect and appreciate the effect that this performance had on Sierra. After finding a spot on the border of the upper loft of House of Blues that seemed to offer a bit of elbow room, and an extremely courteous group of fans occupying the area, I was relieved to have discovered a little nook for Sierra to observe the show below without her feeling too uncomfortable or distressed to enjoy it. When I returned from snapping some photos below, I had to do a triple-take as I looked Sierra’s way. My quiet, reserved, shy, unenthusiastic daughter was practically draped over the balcony, moving, screaming, singing, and smiling from ear to ear. Melanie speaks to the hearts of the masses… and she spoke to the heart of my daughter. It’s a soundtrack to life – real life. It’s angry, betrayed, loved, loving, triumphant, strong, and beautiful – that’s life in it’s realest sense, and that is Melanie. As a fan, and as a mom – I thank her for being a glimmer of hope that art still lives and artists still have the passion to put themselves out there in the most vulnerable ways. Who wouldn’t adore that?