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Melanie Martinez Brings New ‘Portals’ Tour To Moody Amphitheater

Jun 19, 2023

Posted By Andrew Calvio

Andrew Calvio is a music lover willing to span all genres to get the right coverage. Although raised in a house with a very diverse taste of music, alternative/grunge will always remain number one in his heart.

Melanie Martinez stopped at Moody Amphitheater on a hot Saturday night in Austin TX showcasing her newly released Portals album with supporting act Tanukichan. As the doors opened, thousands of “Earthlings” piled in, filling merch booths with snaking long lines. Undeterred by the Texas heat, the crowd eagerly anticipated Martinez’ appearance. Melanie Martinez has been on my radar for quite some time, I had plans to attend a show pre covid. However, the world stopped and many tours were forced to cancel including her scheduled stop in Austin with Sub Urban. I was ready. They were ready. We were ready.

Tanukichan Sets the Tone

Opening the night was alternative, dreampop artist Tanukichan. Born Hannah van Loon, this San Francisco based artist set the tone with catchy guitar hooks and driving beats from her rhythm section. Tanukichan is currently supporting her new release Gizmo produced by indie artist Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi. Sporting an Incubus concert tee and baggy white pants, van Loon was making it clear that she was not a bubblegum pop princess as she shredded her guitar. There was not a big stage production for the opener, just straight to the point music with the occasional “thank you” to the audience. Speaking of which, one highlight of the set was her version of Dido’s Thank You. What a great song! I had not heard Tanukichan before this night and I walked away satisfied with what she presented and have added her to my “chill” playlist. A good little appetizer for the main event.

Melanie Martinez Transcends Reality

The time had come! Melanie Martinez took the stage at exactly 8:25pm just as promised. The stage was set with drapery that resembled a giant moth looking down, casually framing the backdrop of vines and a large screen that would display various otherworldly scenes as the night went on. Martinez herself was adorned in a facial prosthetic and a pink hued bodysuit with earth toned accents that gave her an alien fairy appearance. Very unique to say the least. I have always loved her ability to stand out with her distinct look on previous tours but this was going above and beyond!

The concert opened with DEATH a song that lays the Crybaby phase of her career to rest. She has come to reinvent her persona and assures her fans that she is back to guide them through her vast imagination. With a focus being on the vocalist’s new image, the accompanying band members were set on the back of the stage leaving plenty of room for Martinez and her dancers to showcase their artistry through song and imagery. Rolling right into VOID, she kept the audience engaged by covering both ends of the stage while encouraging their singing along with her. The choreography onstage was well rehearsed and fun to watch the dancers fluidly work with the music and between each other. As the show went on it was easy to stay captivated by both the visual aspect and of course the relatably dark lyrics that Melanie Martinez is known for. I’m sure everyone has felt the chorus from LIGHT SHOWER – “But you make me want to plan out my last days on earth eating you.” Am I Right?

Before she jumped into MOON CYCLE she asked the audience if anyone was on their period and the place erupted. Now is it possible that everyone was indeed in the middle of their cycle or was it just an attempt for some guys to fit in with their female friends? I think the latter, but who knows? The stage was appropriately bathed in red light as the song played on. NYMPHOLOGY was next and felt like a giant sing along as most of the attendees knew every word. My favorite song of the album, EVIL followed. This song is easy to put into your own perspective. She sings about a love gone bad and moving past the psychological and emotional baggage that’s leftover. “Loving you was lethal, guess that makes me evil.” The show closed with three tracks only available on the deluxe edition of Portals. MILK OF THE SIREN is a powerful feminist anthem that spoke to this crowd of mostly female guests. It was a good ending to an amazing show. As an openly Bi artist, Melanie ended with her dancers holding a large pride flag and showing her appreciation for the community vowing to return next year.

Overall, It was a super fun night with an alien! Pop music is not usually at the top of my lists, but this was very enjoyable. At times it may have sounded a bit too polished but that’s understandable with all the dancing and the outfit of choice. Backing tracks can be useful in these situations as long as the mix is done correctly. Her team has done a good job and Melanie herself still has a great voice. The Portals tour is not one to sleep on. Ticketmaster needs to figure out how to take the scalpers out of the equation so more people have accessibility to these shows. The creativity and imagination of Melanie Martinez is extraterrestrial! Go see her, tell your friends!

Setlist

DEATH

VOID

TUNNEL VISION

FAERIE SOIREE

LIGHT SHOWER

SPIDER WEB 

LEECHES

BATTLE OF THE LARYNX

THE CONTORTIONIST

MOON CYCLE

NYMPHOLOGY

EVIL

WOMB

Encore

POWDER

PLUTO

MILK OF THE SIREN

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