Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
June 11th, 2023
By Roman Sobus
As soon as I parked my car and began walking to the venue, I felt this evening was going to be interesting. Young fans costumed as mystical woodland characters adorned with glowing wings, flower crowns and elf ears chattering about what was to come. Some, very young, urging their chaperoning parents to walk faster in hopes of securing a favorable viewing spot for the performance. Arriving at the Aragon Ballroom, I’m certain many a heart sank since so many had arrived hours before doors were scheduled to open and the lines for entry were indeed very long. Once inside the electricity in the air was off the chart. The lights dimmed, fog filled the stage and as Melanie peeked from behind the curtain the crowd roared! As soon as she stepped on the stage, thousands of phones went up and stayed there for the duration of the performance.
It’s not your typical concert, more of a theater production that draws you into a surreal world of a video game. It’s not about Melanie, it’s about the characters she creates and the world where they live. In this incarnation, she becomes a four eyed forest creature residing in a fantasy fairyland.
Opening with “Death” from her new Portals Album, Melanie seamlessly transitioned through sixteen songs interrupted only by momentary stage set changes. A giant spider web was hoisted for “Spider Web”, huge mushrooms flanked the stage and adorned the backdrop adding to the whimsical feel with lighting setting the mood. Other notable pieces from the set were “Moon Cycle”, “Battle of the Larynx” and “Tunnel Vision”.
She covered the full new studio release in full to the delight of the capacity crowd, who sang along, often to each other throughout!
Her dancers provided support, interacting with her at times, becoming the stage focus when she was not there. The band was set in the set background sometimes lost in the stage fog as to not disrupt the mood. The crowd went absolutely wild when butterfly shaped confetti was shot into the air covering the dancing fans during “Womb” toward the end of the performance!
This is one of those performances that was going to be fun. Her fans would tend to agree. They are young, and loyal and pack the house when she is in town. This young artist is definitely one to keep an eye on. Check out her Portals Tour when it hits your town and follow her to see what this creative young artist will come up with next!