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Cry Baby

By Victoria Wasylak

Photo by Victoria Wasylak

Melanie Martinez can tell her friends she’s a big girl now, after performing a sold-out show at the Boston House of Blues. And when she sang “Pity Party”, a track lamenting a failed get-together, she probably didn’t get much sympathy, especially from the hardcore Melanie Martinez lookalikes pressed against the barricades. Martinez may have mustered enough fans to sell out The Sinclair in the fall, but she’s graduated to bigger and better things, such as packing the Fenway venue this past Tuesday night.

The Voice alumna flounced around onstage in a ’70s-style vintage lacy nightie and socks for her hour set. Behind her, gigantic blocks spelled “Cry Baby,” the name of her debut album, and between them, a mobile floated over a crib for decoration. It’s this exact aesthetic that fans crave from Martinez; her half-childish, half-housewife themes that permeate her work is the basis of her cult following.

Girls with pastel hair—often half blonde, half black, just like Martinez—and teardrops painted on the cheeks ogled over pastel merchandise. Friends checked each other to make sure they have sufficient glitter plastered to their cheeks. Tweens flocked together and squealed in stereo every time a backstage door opens. For that same reason, Martinez debatably broke the record for the most flower crowns in a Boston venue Tuesday night, or at least garnered the most since Lana Del Rey’s 2014 appearance in town.

Photo by Victoria Wasylak

Martinez ended up playing her album Cry Baby from start to finish, with the exception of last track “Mad Hatter,” which she nixed in favor of “Cake” from the deluxe version. Her silvery vocals shimmered more sensually in person, and there was an unexplainable satisfaction in how curses roll off her tongue in the midst of otherwise confectionary lyrics. Deceivingly innocent and sweet, lyrics like “I can taste your skin in my teeth,” were completely lost on the teenyboppers eagerly recording every second of her performance on their iPads. Without being tied down to any instrument, Martinez gobbled up every inch of the stage, at times mimicking a wind-up doll during the deliciously wobbly bass lines in “Sippy Cup,” “Soap” and “Pacify Her.”

The starlet politely declined an encore before she left the stage, explaining that her throat was bothering her and apologized that she had (apparently) missed some her high notes. In true schoolgirl-on-the-playground fashion, in lieu of an encore, Martinez made a pinky promise to return to Boston on her next tour. All that was missing from her final farewell was someone snapping their pink bubblegum.

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