The Little Rock Metroplex was transformed into a maniacal playground on Oct. 5, when Melanie Martinez presented a nearly sold-out performance to hoards of adoring fans.
Martinez, best known for her stint on the reality television singing competition “The Voice,” became a breakthrough star after the show; releasing her first full-length album, “Cry Baby,” in August of 2015. The album received critical acclaim and built Martinez’s fan base exponentially.
The line for the concert wrapped all the way around the Metroplex parking lot. The first people in line said they had been waiting at the door since 9 a.m.. I arrived around 4 p.m. and was pleasantly surprised to see that there were relatively few people in line.
Nearly 100 people stood between me and the front entrance of the venue.
After the VIP ticket holders were ushered into the theater, general admission ticket holders waited for another hour before entering.
The crowd began getting rowdy and chanted the singer’s name before doors were even open to the public.
Once inside the venue, fans were treated to an opening performance by Handsome Ghost, a lovely 4-piece electro-folk group fronted by Tim Noyes. The band’s dreamy pop melodies boomed through the amps onstage and kept the audience thrilled while waiting for the main act to begin.
Finally, about half an hour after Handsome Ghost finished their set, it was time for Martinez. Stagehands removed tarps covering her set pieces, featuring a large set of blocks spelling out “Cry Baby” in pastel colors.
The lights dimmed and her backup band, donning bunny ear hats, took the stage.
The pre-show music sounded like something out a Tim Burton nightmare music box. A figure clad in a white lab coat and a rubber rabbit head mask emerged from a set piece onstage, creating a sense of uneasiness that permeated through the audience.
Martinez emerged from a crib on stage left, kicking off the show with the titular song from her “Cry Baby” album. The audience erupted in adoring screams and Martinez seemed right at home onstage.
Clad in a pastel-pink, leather dress and a yellow cropped jacket, she danced across the stage, microphone in hand, with such ease that it seemed as though she could perform the number in her sleep.
Just as the energy died down as Martinez wrapped up “Cry Baby,” she launched directly into “Dollhouse,” her first single ever released. The audience shouted the lyrics back to the singer, who made valiant efforts to personally interact with her fans while onstage.
Martinez exploded with energy through the entire concert. Her vocals seemed even better live than when recorded and she seemed to enjoy her time onstage making music.
To say I enjoyed myself would be a sorry understatement. I found myself personally connecting to her lyrics even more after hearing them sung directly from the artist’s mouth.
Martinez revealed she would be returning to the Little Rock area for another concert in 2017. I can tell you now that I’m already about to purchase my tickets to see her again next year.
photo courtesy of msmagazine.com