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Melanie Martinez - OVO Hydro 15/11/2023

21 Nov 2023
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Melanie Martinez - OVO Hydro 15/11/2023

The Hugely Awaited 2023 UK Tour - Has arrived at the Hydro in Glasgow!

Did Miss Martinez take the crowd through her magical portals or did she leave them wishing they had been teleported elsewhere, by the “ONE AND ONLY, LIVING DECEASED”? Read on to find out!

WE HAVE LANDED

On entering the area outside of the Hydro I was greeted by a huge crowd, full of excitement the buzz in the air was evident to see, hear and feel. A real mixture of ages, from 14 year olds to 40 year olds, some of whom had been there since early afternoon, very brave in my opinion as it was a cold day/night in sunny Glasgow, Scotland as always at this time of the year. As I looked around I felt as though I had entered a strange “Star Trek Holodeck”, there were Faires, people with what can only be described as “Spock Ears” (but Ive since been informed that they are in fact, Elf Ears!). There were young girls dressed in platforms that looked like giant white moon boots, with frilly short skirts, all floaty pastel colours, lace, and loveliness, clothing that really wasnt made to be worn on a cold winters night, especially in this country, maybe in summer at a push, if we have a warm day, a rarity these days, however, I digress. So whilst I shivered at the meer sight of these lovely young girls outfit choices, I also seen the absolute excitement on their faces, they were waiting on their idol to appear in front of their very eyes, so standing in the cold was the last thing on their minds as they dressed for the occasion, I envied that excitement and for one moment wished I was their age and had the ability to feel what they feel….It was a pleasure to see such happiness at simply waiting in a queue, a very special queue…

ENTERING THE PORTAL

As we got inside the Hydro, the excitement had ramped up, queues everywhere to grab drinks, food, merchandise, inside that actual stage area, the spaces at the barrier were full! The air was filled with hormones and happiness as teenage girls ran so fast to get a perfect viewing spot of the stage that the wings they wore almost elevated them into the air….T’was a Scottish Red Bull ad in the making. A scene from Star Trek merged with the Labyrinth at this point, I was mesmerised with the crowd, like something I had never seen before. One fan had to be led to the medical tent before the show even started as she was having a panic attack, I felt for her as she had obviously secured a prime spot and had to be lifted over the barrier by security, I hope she found her space and enjoyed the show once she got her breath back.


The gig was held at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton

LET THE SHOW COMMENCE

The crowd stood in silence as there was a public safety announcement, expecting the show to start immediately after that the fans began cheering and screaming, only to wait a further 25 minutes. Letting out burst of cheers and screams each time someone took to the stage. The sound guy has never been so popular! Staff were handing out water to keep fans hydrated as the energy was not peaking and that room was absolutely on fire, I dont think I have felt this type of spark in my years of writing reviews. It was different level energy….That is saying something, given that Ive stood in the crowd at a Beyonce gig.


Support act Taylor Cameron kicks things off at the Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

No one knew who the support act was, not even the Hydro staff, so it was a huge delight to everyone when they ventually appeared! Upsahl who’s lead singer Taylor Cameron literally bounced onto the stage! Taylor is a 25 year old singer from Phoenix Arizona who fills the stage with so much energy! She swings that head from side to side like the star she is, in her own right. Very clearly appreciative of the opportunity to perform in front of Melanie’s Crybabies/Earthlings”, she absolutely threw herself into every single second of her time on that stage and she lapped up the crowd cheers and applause. With her mixture of electric pop and rock with a spritz of grunge, an unusual combination, that somehow all worked, was actually really good and danceable all at the same time, Melanie knew what she was doing when she selected Taylor to perform, she knew the “Crybabies” would love and embrace this little magical pocket rocket who propelled herself right out into that crowd, they lapped up every bit of her and the air was even more electric, which I didnt think was possible.

NOW, IT’S SHOWTIME!!!!

The time had come, the Hydro turned red, the curtain prop dropped, the hanging ivy, the single candle on a giant screen, the voice over, it was all throat gaspingly, spine tingling, the crowd was wild with excitement, I mean, you could genuinely feel the switch of energy, it was magical, absolute, euphoria.

The crowd were loud, what I can only describes as “ALL HELL LETTING LOOSE” then I suddenly found myself thinking back to old footage that I had seen of The Beatles, I get it now, I will forever look at this Beatles footage very differently now. Never in my lifetime did I think that would happen again, it just did, I just witnessed it!


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

I have NEVER seen mass hysteria like this in the flesh, I have never heard a crowd so loud in my entire life, I actually stopped writing for a moment and just took it all in, goosebumps covered my very being as I watched the Crybabies actually cry…Girls all around me were sobbing their eyes out and I knew they were happy tears, so just stood smiling like an absolute fool for a moment…I cannot find the words to describe this moment, but its not a moment I will forget in a hurry.

My mesmerising daze was suddenly broken by a young girl about 15-16 years old suddenly approached me saying she was going to pass out, she was on her own, so I grabbed her and walked over to the medical tent….I left her safely in the hands of the first aid team. The first track “DEATH”, was a beautiful rock meets pop track, this combined with the visuals and staging was just beautiful and beyond atmospheric, whoever designed the props and visuals needs to stand up and take a bow. The old theater like prop curtains, the giant toadstools, the dreamy screens were outstanding and took you through many portals and on the journey of a lifetime as her albums quite literally came to life in front of our very eyes....

We then had “VOID”, the crowd sang along to every single word in unison, quite something to hear. The dancers were fantastic and visually inspiring, costumes were almost tribal but ethereal, everyone was having the time of their lives at this point, Melanie, the dancers and the crowd.


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

The third song “TUNNEL VISION” was sublime and accompanied by beautiful visuals, the giant toadstools lit up, we were teleported through grass lined tunnels, fresh flowers, which on a cold November night, was so good for the soul, the visuals then began to die and turn grey, like the reality of the cold November night outside the Hydro, we were all gripped at this point. The dancers performed an almost, Victorian style/Morris Dancer routine, like children from the eighteen hundreds at play in a stately manner garden, it was beautiful and serene…

Suddenly, we were plunged into darkness, followed by a spectacular light show of rainbow colours, everyone screamed at the top of their lungs once more as Melanie joined in on the choreography. Her mere movement created hysteria amongst the fans. Her vocal was hypnotic in this track and you could hear what I call, a “trauma tone” where the emotions and pain of ones life leaks through in the vocals. We were ten minutes into the concert and I was perplexed as to why Melanie hadn’t spoken to the crowd yet, she hadnt said one word, which is highly unusual.

Although, it was evident that she needed no introduction, but it was just an observation, as its something that I had never experienced before. The show continued with “FAERIE SOIREE” followed by “LIGHT SHOWER” both great tracks that fall perfectly into place in her story, but there was a sudden switch in the air when the next track kicked in.

Again, we were plunged into darkness, medieval like music poured out of the speakers, gentle but commanding, then, the sound of insects filled the air, crickets on a hot summer night jumping out of the speakers, filling you with a need to immediately look over your shoulder, just encase they were real.


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

BOOM! Spotlight, and a giant web simultaneously appear to drop from the curtain prop, with smoke atmospherically billowing out, this web was absolutely huge! About twenty five feet wide! Of course the fans knew this was the start of her song “SPIDER WEB”. I particularly liked this track as I felt the drum beating throughout my body, I felt this song and that is always a sign of a great track for me, this one I really liked. This entwined with the medieval tones was something I had never heard before and it was fantastic to say the least! We then heard “LEECHES” a track that was accompanied by green light rays waving through the crowd, right up to the seated area, the dancers once again excelled themselves in the visual creations on stage, and the crowd once again sang along to every single word in its entirety. Ironically, the “BATTLE OF THE LARYNX” left me feeling like that would be the theme of the day for a lot of

people in that building, Glasgow may be a bit quieter tomorrow with a lot of sore throats and misplaced voices left in the Hydro’s lost property box.


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

THIRTY FIVE MINUTES into her act and she finally spoke! Only to give her dancers a shout out mid song, refreshing and unusual to say the least.

At the end of “WOMB” there was a huge bang! And it was raining pink confetti, beautiful pink confetti in the shape of butterflies shooting out of huge cannons at the front of the stage, it was a sight to behold, like a Cherry Blossom in gale force winds…It was stunning, and the music was quite literally grabbing every single emotion that I had within my soul to the forefront. I felt so emotional at this point as I watched the crowd, I had to fight back the tears welling in my eyes and swallow back that huge lump that suddenly sat on top of my tonsils, but this moment was particularly special for me, you see, as a mum, I knew my wee girl was in the middle of that crowd having the time of her life.
This was her first ever concert, (by choice I may add).


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

She refused to attend any other concert as she wanted Melanie Martinez to be her first ever experience, she would not attend any other event or go to see any other artist as she was saving herself for this special moment. For the first time all evening, I came out of writer mode and into mum mode, I looked on as everyone looked up and cried, placing their hands up like flesh covered shells to catch the pink butterflies that were drifting slowly in the air. I felt a sense of privilege to get to see this and experience this moment, the energy this lady created was so special, I was genuinely lucky to be standing where I was, witnessing this beautiful side of life, which is a rarity these days.


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

Before we knew it the serenity that gripped the place was gone! The crowd were once again screaming at the top of their lungs. This fickle switch was created by the dancers at the end of “MILK OF THE SIREN” who had appeared holding up a Trans flag, much to the delight of everyone in that room. Melanie broke her silence again after that, telling her fans that she loved them and to get home safely.
I found the night to be surprisingly good, even though my daughter is a huge fan and has been from the very beginning of Melanies career, and find myself buying items that fans love, for my daughter, but have never actually listened to her music or understood the stories behind them.


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

My ignorance was actually a benefit on the night, as I attended with virgin eyes and ears not knowing what to expect. I left with a totally different view and a new found respect for Melanie as an artist. She is a very unassuming young lady, there was no over the top costumes changes, in fact, there was no costume changes at all. She comes across as a very humble and grateful person that appreciates her fans, that doesnt take her fame for granted. I did not detect one bit of entitlement or arrogance, which was just beautiful to see. She is the face of kindness, and encourages people to be who they are, no matter what that looks or feels like. In that room, everyone belonged, all sizes, shapes, genders, it didnt matter. We all belonged and I took that away with me, along with my new found respect for het. I have never compared anyone with The Beatles, I have never seen anyone create the hysteria that they created, but Melanie Martinez, you did just that!


Melanie Martinez at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton.

If you can, get along to the last of shows on the European leg of this tour, then do it! Its an experience I would recommend to everyone!

Shes now headed to:

France
To perform on the 26th of November at La Vilette in Paris

Madrid
To perform on the 28th of November at WinZink Centre

Portugal
To perform on the 30th of November Campo Pequeno

Then she travels back to the US for December then onto Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Australia throughout January and February of 2024, before heading back to the US from May 10th - June 7th, Canada, June 9th, back to UD June 11th to June 27th to hopefully then have a rest

as this lady deserves one…

Melanie, it was a pleasure! Thank you x

Review by Laura Docherty, Photography by Stewart Fullerton.

 

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Review - Melanie Martinez - OVO Hydro 15/11/2023 - Glasgowmusic.co.uk