Melanie Martinez “Schools” Audience On Life With K-12 Tour

K-12 Tour Presents Itself As Epitome Of Visual Spectacle and Positivity


Derek Brad

Melanie Martinez’s K-12 tour came to Houston’s Revention Music Center November 5th, 2019. The tour is set to end February 17, 2020.

Joshua Piper, Staff Writer

People piled into the Revention Music Center creating a sea of pastel blues, lavenders, and sea foam greens. I couldn’t help but stare at everyone with the outrageous outfits that passed me. Excitement of the audience floated in the air. Everyone waited in anticipation for Melanie Martinez to walk onstage, and as Jordyn Guzman and I made our way to our spot, the opener, Lauren Ruth Ward, stepped onstage. 


Ward, dressed in bold red, white, and blue jeans, began her set with her powerful voice which presented the same vibes as classic 80’s rock. Her voice clearly entranced the audience and Ward’s stage presence matched her strong vocals as she danced around the stage. In one of the most touching moments of the night, a group toward the front sang along to her lyrics which clearly meant the world to Ward. She ended her set by telling the audience to enjoy Martinez’s set and thanked everyone for one of the greatest audiences she has had on tour.


After an agonizing fifteen minute transition period the lights went dim accompanied with a multitude of screams from the audience. A video appeared on a screen that was centered on the stage. A woman portraying a substitute teacher for K-12, Martinez’s fictitious, whimsical school from which she draws the title of the album, explains she is going to teach the audience lessons the administration at K-12 wouldn’t allow. Every time this woman appeared on the screen the audience erupted into applause for the wisdom she was going to impart. A hush would follow the mass clapping and screaming as soon as she opened her mouth. Everyone waited silently to her the profound and encouraging messages of the cruel hardships many endure every day.  By having these lessons before certain songs, the audience was invited to sit in a classroom of the corrupt K-12. Lessons of body positivity, freedom of dress, the stupidity of gender norms, and the overall journey of life defined the night as unforgettable to the roaring audience.


The set began with “Wheels On The Bus” and the audience was immediately drawn onto this bus ride to K-12. The dancers, along with Martinez, began to convey this rambunctious bus ride with insane choreography. Throughout the whole set, Martinez amazed her audience members with her ability to sing with how exhausting the choreography seemed. The songs were separated by dance breaks from the backup dancers or the aforementioned videos of the substitute teacher. This allowed for a flow to be established even during the dead time while Martinez changed outfits. 


With respect to the dancing, the backup dancers stole the show. Every dancer seemed to be putting their all into each move and executed the choreography with extreme precision. Even when Martinez was not onstage everyone still enjoyed themselves as the dancers were always were always acting as entertainment. Everyone’s eyes seemed to be glued to these dancers as they captivatingly moved across the stage with stunning passion.


Each song was staged well and conveyed Martinez’s message with a playful charm. Some of the performances included “Wheels On the Bus”, “Class Fight”, and “Lunchbox Friends”. However, every performance fulfilled all theatrical expectations and each was an aesthetically pleasing spectacle, visually and audibly. Due to her theatrics, the performance of the K-12 album felt very scripted, but this did not detract from the performance. Afterwards she played a few Crybaby songs along with her newest single, “Fire Drill”. This part of the concert truly felt more like a concert while the K-12 portion felt like a performance, but a performance that left the audience enthralled by the beauty of Martinez’s musical talent.


If someone ever tried to escape into the world of a good book they would appreciate Martinez’s performance. The audience gets pulled into this fantasy school of light blue, pink, and lilac uniforms. Where doing the right thing is frowned upon, and wrong doing is covered up by those in power. The cynic would see the evil of those in authority as a way to express the innate malice of humanity. However, I’d like to think the school of K-12 mirrors the human experience in a masterful way. Martinez utilizes innocent and childish imagery to put a nicer lens over the injustice that goes on throughout life, just as society tries to paint tragedy or disgusting actions in a better light. However, Martinez conveys it takes one person to stand up for what he or she believes is right. K-12 is a reminder that we have the ability to make a difference, and that is what Martinez accomplishes with a fantastic performance.


Rating: ???????????????????? : 10/10