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Melanie Martinez – Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY (A Concert Review)

Melanie Martinez – Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY – June 28, 2023

Bay Area singer songwriter Tanukichan opens the show with groove-heavy bass and silky soft vocals. Moody lighting is setting off with each strum of guitar and kick of drums, creating dancing shadows of the trio band on the walls. Lead singer and bass guitarist Hannah van Loon is soft spoken and plays a mean bass with infectious rhythm. Their unique sound makes feel like you're in an indie 2000's flick, making for a perfect transition into the Portals world.

The lights dim, and thousands of adoring fans scream with excitement as a lit candle projection fills the screen. "Wanna know a secret?" asked a soft voice as enchanting instrumentals begin to swell in the air. Melanie Martinez graces the stage in a full-on nymph-faerie-like costume that reflects the world created in her latest release Portals.

For her sold out NYC show, fans arrived ready in decked out costumes, donning faerie wings, elaborate make up and ears mirroring the singer’s Portals character. The show feels like an immersive, performance art piece, complete with dancers, colorful visuals and a full band emitting unique and hypnotizing sounds that submerge you into the singer’s world.

Portals is the continuation and final piece to the singer’s trilogy of records, revolving around the character Crybaby, with this particular work centering in on themes of death, after life and rebirth. The singer-songwriter manages to dance around these themes with light, whimsical elements that truly make it easy to digest, while never straying far from the message – we are more than the vessel that holds us.

The dancers moved with purpose, telling a story by tying emotions with their movements throughout each song, with Martinez serving as serenading guide to the audience. The stage visuals evolved throughout the performance, projecting on screen the distinct imagery that is sung in each song.

There was altar-like candlelit scenery for "Death," inflatable mushrooms growing on stage with "Faerie Soiree," dancers stringing a giant spiderweb on stage for "Spiderweb" and a growing fetus of Melanie's character for "Womb."

The fans never missed a beat, singing along to every word, a cathartic release of energy with every lyric sung. Melanie thanked her incredible dancers and band before pink confetti filled the air, following up with an energetic performance of "Womb" as the crowd cheered them on.

She then went on to close with an encore of "Powder," "Pluto" and "Milk of the Siren," found on the deluxe version of Portals. Melanie has proven herself to be a true visionary with this transcendent performance that tugs on your heartstrings and transports you to a world of self-reflection and release.

Natalie Orozco

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: June 29, 2023.

Photos by Noemad Reid/MSGE © 2023. Courtesy of Madison Square Garden Entertainment. All rights reserved.


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