When I found out Marina & The Diamonds would play the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J., as part of her U.S. Burger Queen Tour, I had to go. First, I love seeing my favorite artists in small joints, and then there’s stepping inside the place where Bruce Springsteen, the E Street Band and Bon Jovi all got their start. Why not make a whole weekend out of it, which is what I did. I collected three fun friends, jumped in a jeep and hit the road. We stayed at an old hotel which from the outside looked like an insane asylum – it was perfect for the four of us. We found more friends from New York and converted them into Marina maniacs like us.
Gorgeous Marina took to the stage around 10:30 wearing pajamas and a crazy helmet haircut which took flight like Sally Field in the Flying Nun every time she stood in front of the fan. She revealed later that her drummer cut it the week prior. She was still rockin’ the bright pink lipstick too.
She opened with “Girls” and played most of the songs off her 2010 debut album, The Family Jewels, including “The Outsider,” Seventeen,” “Are You Satisfied?” and the seemingly misplaced “Hermit the Frog.” Over Labor Day, Marina played Wonder Bar in Asbury Park and no one knew who she was. It was good to see she got a good showing at the Stone Pony. What made it more meaningful was that her show at this venue coincided with the day legendary E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away. Marina gave a shout-out to the man who recently made a comeback thanks to Lady Gaga and her ‘80s-inspired summer anthem, “Edge of Glory.”
Compared to her British contemporaries, Florence, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J, she hasn’t taken off the way she expected. All three landed plum SNL showcases in the past year. Marina did not. Even brilliant gems “I Am Not a Robot” and “Oh No!” haven’t gained traction in the U.S. despite three tours and a slowly growing fan base. Marina herself admits she feels connected to the U.S. and “just wants to make it huge here, move here and spend the rest of her life touring here.” I really hope that happens and I think she’s determined to make it happen. After her headlining shows, she picks up for Robyn supporting Katy Perry on her summer tour. Perhaps that will help.
Favorite moments of the night included new songs, “Living Dead” and “Jealousy,” and the best off her debut album, “Obsessions,” “Shampain,” “Mowgli’s Road” and “Guilty.” For her encore, she returned to the keyboards with her beautiful ballad “Numb” and closed with an ode to her future home “Hollywood,” sporting a sequined Stars and Stripes get-up. While she’s obsessed with the mess that’s America, I’m obsessed with her. Drop your next record soon, Ms. Diamandis.