Tessa Roy ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Editor
I stood in the enormous line outside Brighton Music Hall on Friday night, taking some time to observe the crowd. It was mostly teenage girls, and some even younger who had come with their parents. Many of them were dressed up in tutus, bows, and wore bright makeup mimicking that of their idol; their idol Melanie Martinez.
The Voice alumna’s Dollhouse EP has a fairly mellow vibe, so I wasn’t anticipating an explosive atmosphere. However, the energy in the room was almost overwhelming once everyone was inside. I was in for a much different show than I expected.
Soon after indie pop trio AJR (who are utterly adorable, by the way) finished their opening set, Martinez barreled into her own. The sheer volume of the high pitched shrieks that erupted when she ran onto the stage could have shattered windows – if the hall had had any, that is. There was no question that the young people in this crowd was really excited to see this performer.
Nineteen-year-old Martinez is one of many artists boasting a primarily young following. But there is a paradox about her, which she told me is intentional, that makes her interesting. She stood on the hall’s stage in a childish, pink, milk-and-cookie themed ensemble while singing “You don’t hear me when I say Mom, please wake up, Dad’s with a slut.” Her initial image might bely her youth, but her lyrics convey a maturity one would never know was there just by looking at her. Some of her audience might not have understood this about her. But that was okay. They liked her breathy voice, her music box sound, her purple and black hair. That was all that mattered to them.
It was clear Martinez was doing everything right in the eyes of her fans. Even when she sang songs they did not know, like “Cry Baby,” “Alphabet Boy,” and “Cake” from her debut Cry Baby that has not yet been released, they cheered her on. And when they did know a song, like “Carousel” or “Dollhouse,” they sang along to every word. The set was appropriately balanced so there would be no uncomfortable string of unrecognizable songs. It was an effective way to tease the album without alienating the entire audience.
Martinez had just as much fun as her admirers did. She was friendly and comfortable, laughing, dancing, and chatting her way through her set. Even though she was at ease, she knew her job was still to deliver the impressive vocals for which she is known. And that she did. To those who do not know it well, her voice may seem as if it doesn’t ever deviate from its gentleness. But Martinez proved she can pack a bit of power when she played an acoustic version of “Dead to Me.” Even better was her cover of Ariana Grande’s “My Everything,” which she sang as passionately if it were her own song.
Martinez’s young crowd was sad to see her leave the stage, but they took to their phones to immortalize their memories of her on their Instagram accounts soon after the lights came on. They posted away, and many could be heard buzzing to each other about their experiences.
“Oh my God, she’s the cutest thing ever,” gushed one tween. Her friends agreed.
“Wow, that was a lot of standing,” remarked an accompanying parent. Her counterparts agreed, too.
Whether they minded being on their feet for three hours or not, nobody seemed dissatisfied. The younger ones were thrilled to have seen someone they adored so much, and the parents were just happy that their kids were happy. There is no doubt that Dollhouse will be on repeat in their homes for days, and they will all probably be buying Cry Baby when it drops in the spring. This fan base of Martinez’s might be new, but it is strong and dedicated. It will grow up with her, and it seems it will never fail to support her through everything she does.