Melanie Martinez: Turning livestream concerts into a full-blown production since 2020.
Melanie Martinez’s virtual “Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12” tour was nothing short of otherworldly. The alternative pop singer-songwriter is all about true artistry, being culturally savvy, and a schoolgirl aesthetic. Some may have thought that this style wouldn’t translate through a screen, but one look at her social media presence proves those people wrong.
Melanie Martinez has curated a world around her artistry, including costumes, photoshoots, merchandise, videos, and even self-directed feature film. (She designed her own livestream concerts, too, like the fashion icon she is.) If anyone knows how to intertwine stellar visuals with lyrically-sound music to tell a vivid story, it’s her. The well-rehearsed, virtual “Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12” tour was no exception.
Miss Martinez Exudes Showmanship
Thursday night, 11/17, Martinez put on a wonderfully theatrical, but equally as intimate livestream show for her North American fans. Glorious vocal runs, spot-on set design, and cohesive choreography brought the superstar’s musical catalog to life. The scenes were immersive and practically interactive.
Knowing Melanie Martinez’s songs and the storyline woven between them meant that each of the performances were connected and meaningful. Each song comes from her repertoire of eclectic, anthemic, anecdotal electro-pop hits. All in all, this allowed fans to feel like they were at a Broadway play more than a virtual concert. There is a narrative to all Martinez does and it’s clear she worked tirelessly to depict that through a screen.
“Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12” Setlist
Playdate: As her first full song of the night, Martinez made sure to play homage to her debut album, 2015’s Cry Baby. Her softened vocals, vintage parasol, and outer space stage setup kickstarted the ethereal night. The full band and team of dancers played their roles wonderfully from the start.
Show & Tell: Gearing up for her K-12 set, “Show & Tell” introduced the schoolgirl era and stage design. From the lighting to the dancers to the vocal runs, it was the perfect balance of whimsical and creepy.
Strawberry Shortcake: This fan favorite had Melanie singing from the inside of a cake, but it was eventually “sliced” by her dancers. Pulling apart the cake allowed the star to be free from the confines of the outfit and work the stage expertly. The “Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12” virtual tour seemed to be all about symbolism and movement.
Orange Juice: This was the most raw version of the song fans have ever heard. Melanie’s voice was heavenly, mimicking the pink angel wings that adorned her sides. Love and pain came to head during this performance.
High School Sweethearts: Nobody wants to fight with a girl in love, especially not the significant other themselves. The singer documents the feelings of youthful adoration in this relatable, earnest track. The live version did the emotion behind the lyrics even more justice than before. Her Minnie Mouse meets maid costume topped with red bows only added to the childlike delight.
Nurse’s Office: Melanie acted out the song in the most animated and dramatic fashion, giving further insight into the meaning of this K-12 hit. The coordination between the strung out lyrics, costumes, and cartoon-ish choreography was superb. “Nurse’s Office” felt reminiscent of a miniature, three and a half minute Broadway show.
Test Me: Possibly the highlight of the night, this performance was an over-the-top take on all Melanie Martinez does. Fantasy and reality, as well as childhood and adolescence, clash as the singer’s voice harmonizes with the backtrack. Peering her head into the windows of an elaborate victorian dollhouse was a new level of artistry, even for Melanie. Her directorial talents and visual art passion came full circle within this performance – and fans couldn’t be happier.
Brain & Heart: The After School EP came with many stellar lyrics. “What fun is it to be so calculated? Or be taken advantage of, because your heart’s too trusting,” is one that this track allowed Melanie to be even more creative with. She sang on a stretcher with a pink, anatomically correct heart held above her body. The symbolism and creativity continued to be off the charts as the night went on.
Glued: Dressed as a clown, the performer laid on her back as her dancers threw “knives” all around her. For a song about feeling stuck in dumb love, viewers got to see just that.
The End of “Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12”
Field Trip: Donning a ruffled, frilly two piece outfit, Melanie frolicke around the stage’s meadow for this number. One of the most elegant visuals and vocals of the night, “Field Trip,” was an uptempo, harmony-filled moment to remember.
Numbers: In “Numbers,” all of the star’s characters and musical eras came together. She sang airily about school, compared it to relationships, and stood in a doll box. Like in her career, Melanie had to break out of the box and the mold that people had of her. Here, she did just that on the stage. She took back her life, her work, and her art with one beautiful song and one ceremonious performance.
The Bakery: Hearts, twirling, lace, and the sweetest sounding vocal runs. Melanie Martinez closed out her show with everything she loves and does best. With a wink to the camera above the stage, she closed out the night in the most Melanie fashion. That wink, this show, and the warm toned vocals brought this K-12 era of the star to a close, as well. Fans can’t wait to see what the visual artist and singer-songwriter comes up with next. If it’s another virtual tour, or anything like “Can’t Wait Till I’m Out of K-12,” it’ll be great.