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Marina and the Diamonds: An interview with a fan

Sometimes an opening act you’ve never seen before becomes your new music obsession. Michael saw Marina and the Diamonds for the first time opening for Katy Perry in 2011. In 2012, he got a tattoo of a diamond on his ankle which still means the world to him. Now he’s seen her 11 times, including flying from Tampa to Portland to catch her show. All the while evolving right along with her.

I would say I’m a half Marina and the Diamonds, half Lady Gaga fan. If I had to pick one... I wouldn’t. Tonight makes 11 times that I’ve seen Marina. I started at the Katy Perry tour in 2011, when Marina opened in Cleveland. That was completely new. I looked up the opener on the day of the concert and I was disappointed it wasn’t Robyn. And now I like Marina more than Katy Perry.

I think there’s something about both Marina and Gaga that is very theatrical. If you see some other performers live and there’s a lot of... distractions. I definitely think there’s a theatrical element to this tour; I haven’t seen this leg of it yet, but the production value is higher.

I’m really looking forward to the interludes between acts. They’re something that I haven’t seen before. I like the way it’s set up - I’ve thought for a while it was an interesting idea for an artist to split a show up by their albums. I like that she’s splitting it up into 3 acts because that’s really how my experience as a fan has been. I saw The Family Jewels live, I saw Electra Heart live, and now the Neon Nature tour is all three.

I think the fan base has changed and I don’t identify with it as much anymore because it’s a lot younger. So, in the beginning, I was drawn to the intelligence in the fan base which I really liked. There were a lot more lyric-based discussions. And the fan base has changed after she did Electra Heart - now the reaction is just like, “Pop star pop star pop star oh my God.’ But she was doing a satirical take on being a pop star and I think people didn’t see that.

It’s still fun to dance to and it’s interesting how the fan base has changed. They’re still really fun shows and I’m thankful for the experience that I’ve had. I kind of grew up with her a little bit, and I think that The Family Jewels was a weird transition period for me in high school. Then I just kind of identified with her in every era. Like this album (Froot) is a little more mature, and I’m about to leave college and I’m looking at grad schools. Even her style has evolved - she’s dressing in pantsuits and everything else and I identify with that too! And the teenagers in line for the concert are turning up to “Teen Idle,” but I identified with that 3 years ago. I think there’s some nostalgia to that. I think I’ve been there every step of the way and I’m still moving forward.

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