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Watch out, ladies. Marina Diamandis is a homewrecker and proud of it. No shame, no gain. The singer-songwriter and solitary member of Marina & The Diamonds dove headfirst into her headlining set at Park West with the haughty spoken-word “Homewrecker,” a new track from her much delayed sophomore release Electra Heart.
“Now Chicago, are you ready for a costume change?” Once the Welsh alternative pop star slipped into a long lace negligee/robe, it was time for a Beyoncé-type request: “Can we put my fan a little closer? Thank you, that’s perfect.”
“Oh Chicago, you are brilliant,” stated the singer after emerging from darkness. “This is a made-to-order from the Electra Mart.” Donning a 1950s shimmery pink cocktail dress straight out of Back to the Future, the singer performed “Power & Control” and “Bubblegum Bitch.”
“Obsessions” featured Diamandis seated at her keyboard as her unruly mane of dyed tresses blew across her face. Damn sweat-preventing fans! Although the pianist was hardly playing anything more than elementary school level piano, you gotta give the 26-year-old credit for writing the tune all by herself.
“It’s so weird,” began the bottle blonde as a teddy bear was handed over from a front row fan, “When I became 26 I developed this obsession with teddies. I get scared at night with them all over my tour bus. I start thinking, What if they have cameras in the eyes? You would think that too if you were a singer.”
Electra Heart’s first single “Primadonna” paved the way for “Shampain” as Diamandis drank water (er, Champagne) from a plastic martini glass and remarked, “This evening seems to be going by quickly. Too quickly!” The Stargate-produced and written “Radioactive” was given a protracted ending with the alt-pop artist shouting, “Here we go, Chicago! We love you! One more time!” before the final chorus.
A touch of melancholy commenced the evening’s encore as Diamandis performed “Teen Idle” – the eerie story of her suicidal cheerleader youth; her last hurrah of adolescence. Written without the aide of professional songsmiths, the singer was left alone on stage seated at the black and white keys to mourn her teenage years.
“Chicago is very special to my family because my dad came here from Greece and got a job at The Parthenon on South Halsted,” Diamandis sentimentally recalled. “Chicago, it’s been an absolute pleasure. People in the back, are you alright? I forgot to ask you that before.”
An extended rendition of Electra Heart’s second single “How To Be a Heartbreaker” rounded out a pristine performance from the U.K.’s Marina and the Diamonds, but don’t worry if you missed it. The singer and her diamonds (aka fans) will be back opening for Coldplay this month!
(Photos by Jennifer Boyer.)