Orion and Beyond: Pink Mario live at Schiff Helene

On Friday, synth-pop up-and-comer Pink Mario kicked off his ‘Orion’ tour. It was a joy to see live. ★★★★★

Pink Mario. Photo: Zachow Picture

Is there life on Mars? Maybe not, but there certainly is life on P1, the home planet of Pink Mario. The friendly alien is the musical project of Berlin-based UK artist Lazlo Barclay, who kicked off his European summer tour, ‘Orion’, on the Historisches Schiff Helene last Friday, complete with support act, Muryel, who proved a feast for fans of honest and heartfelt indie pop. The small boat, anchored on Märkisches Ufer, was the perfect location for Pink Mario’s atmospheric sound and a fitting metaphor for this up-and-coming indie star’s onward journey. 

As the sun started setting, Pink Mario stepped on the stage under deck, wearing a ravishing ruched jumpsuit and his signature face paint, both of which inevitably evoked Bowie’s androgynous aesthetics. The 14-strong setlist included his brand new release and tour namesake ‘Orion’, fan favourites ‘You Know Who to Call’, ‘Cold Like You’ and the Russian-language belter ‘Na Zare’, as well as yet-unreleased hits like ‘Another Point in Time’ and ‘Andromeda’. 

Pink Mario. Photo: Zachow Picture

Echoey and ethereal, Pink Mario was a joy to see live, with levels of energy and audience engagement that you wouldn’t expect of light-as-a-feather dream- and synth-pop. Night had fallen when the sweaty crowd re-emerged onto the deck, and while the night sky (with Pink Mario’s home planet in the far distance) was obscured by Berlin’s light pollution, the city lights reflected in the river shimmered like stars. 

True to his motto “you can be an alien all you like, but please don’t be a stranger”, Pink Mario caught up with fans, friends and family after the gig, but this personal touch extended beyond mingling with the crowd. There was also a photo wall with disposable cameras and free-to-use glow sticks, body glitter and temporary tattoos. At the door, everyone was handed a personalised envelope that enclosed a letter, addressed and signed by hand, an ‘Orion’ sticker and a sachet of “seeds from P1”. 

Our recommendation: catch one of these hyper-personal and intimate live shows before the next Ziggy Stardust blasts off to the big stage. ★★★★★

  • Follow Pink Mario on Instagram and listen on Spotify
  • Next Berlin show on June 20, 19:00 at Junction Bar, tickets here