Written & Photographed by Danielle Boise
Melanie Martinez splashed onto the music scene in 2012 as a contestant in the third season of the NBC hit reality show, The Voice, which landed her a record deal with Atlantic Records. Martinez has been able to craft an incredibly eye-opening way of showing us all what lurks behind the pretenses of perfection and shatters that illusion with cleaver hooks and a dreamlike voice. She dropped her Dollhouse EP in 2014, which was then incorporated into her debut album released in August of 2015, Cry Baby. Since the release Martinez has been on a whirlwind tour for to support this incredible project. The 13-track album is not light-hearted fare, but it a gorgeous conceptual album that is the perfect solution to any bad day.
Martinez finally made her way to Atlanta on Tuesday, April 5, for her sold out show at The Buckhead Theatre with Mainland in support. For a standing room only show, as it was completely sold out, as has been the case with the majority of Martinez’s stops on her Cry Baby Tour. People drove in from all over the southeast, lining up as early as 8 am for a 7:30 pm show, in order to get to be as close as possible to this fast rising star.
What’s so wonderful about The Buckhead Theatre is that while it’s not the smallest venue in Atlanta, it holds approximately 1,500 at full capacity, but has this delightful retro feel – while maintaining an intimate atmosphere, that both the fans and artists truly appreciate and was the perfect place to host the Cry Baby tour.
The alternative New York-based trio, Mainland opened the show with performing songs off their soon-to-be-released Outcast, out on 300 Entertainment later this summer. This was the masterful blend of music that balanced each other out perfectly for its honest intent and pure moments of connection, conception and poignant lyrics across the board between both Mainland and Martinez.
With a 14-song set list, Martinez pretty much played her Cry Baby album in track order, by starting off the evening by popping out of a crib for “Cry Baby” followed by the powerfully hypnotic “Dollhouse.” The dark illusions of “Sippy Cup” was up next, with the most expressive lyrics being “Kids are still depressed when you dressed them up.” It’s a powerful reflection, mirrored back to us on the context of perception. How perception actually alters the landscape of reality. Yet reality still exists under the context of layers of disbelief, where the lies we tell ourselves only to shout to the world at large live in. It’s a mind-boggling, Melanie’s artistry to her wordsmith skill set to craft a delicious sentiment that translates so accurately. I truly feel she is a voice of a generation that needs to be heard and this is their path to being understood.
Of course “Carousel” was up next, you can’t have a Melanie Martinez show without “Carousel.” Followed by “Alphabet Boy,” “Soap,” “Training Wheels,” “Pity Party,” “Tag,” “You’re It,” “Milk and Cookies,” “Pacify Her,” “Mrs. Potato Head” and ended the regular set with “Cake.” For Martinez’s encore she came back out for one final song and end the night on an impeccable note with “Mad Hatter.”
What is so remarkable about Melanie Martinez is there is no pretense, she is a woman who is playing by her own set of rules, and boy are they a glorious set of rules. She is a voice of a generation that is needs to be heard. There is nothing quite like seeing her perform live, as she is fully in the moment and brings us all along for the ride. Martinez is a delightful performer, who is maintains being down-to-earth and earnest. And if you get the chance to see her live, do.