I write this from abroad, having just had the pleasure of seeing Herne Bay local Lorde in concert in Paris. I thought it was a good opportunity to write about our world famous musician.
I didn't connect with 'Melodrama', Lorde's second album, released earlier this year, at the first listen through. But it has grown on me, much as her debut album did. Live in Paris, she was her effervescent and positive self on stage, ever thankful for getting the chance to perform to a sold-out Zenith stadium in Paris. A long way for someone to come from the North Shore of Auckland. Lorde spoke of the difficulties of fame and how her relationships had changed so much since 'Royals' took the world by storm. Her emotional dialogue with the crowd brought tears to many faces as she discussed how fame had created a perception that she was somehow different to how she'd been. That said, she performed 'Liability', just her on stage, with the whole room singing with her.
She had opened the set with 'Homemade Dynamite', a new favourite of mine off the album and, despite a handful of songs throughout the night that didn't resonate with me, I absolutely loved the concert. She has an energy to her that brings smiles to faces and captures hearts, and it was clear from the faces of Parisians around us that Lorde had done this in Paris.
She burst straight from Homemade Dynamite into the Disclosure song, 'Magnets' that featured Lorde, before giving the crowd a hit they knew from the first album in 'Tennis Court'. This was my first taste of how much love the crowd had for Lorde, as phones came out, faces lit up and Lorde was, at times, drowned out by singing. She made us wait until the end of the concert to hear the big hits. Every individual in the room was singing the words to 'Royals'. Whether English was your first language or second, everyone knew those lyrics and sang them loud. She closed the concert, after 'Royals', with three hits, one after another. 'Perfect Places' led into 'Team' from Pure Heroine, before finishing with 'Green Light'. The crowd erupted and those few individuals who were still sitting in their seats stood up to dance.
She raced back on stage and played a tiny encore, the second half of Hard Feelings / Loveless, by herself, with a synth-pad. Almost underwhelming, it actually captured the child-like, joyous nature of Lorde and a Lorde concert - bouncing and excitable she ran back off stage, with a wave, leaving us satisfied and with silly smiles on our faces.
If you've got tickets to her shows in Auckland in November then you are a lucky one. Surprising that she is not playing at Spark Arena,
I have no doubt she would sell it out, but I suspect it would steal some of the intimacy from the show. With very sparse stage decoration, just a few fluorescent light statues, that may not translate lost in Spark Arena, especially as there is no attention brought to the rest of Lorde's band. They do their job admirably, yet without much spotlight.
Lorde's climb to fame is a treat to watch, participate in and support. I don't doubt her sold-out shows in Auckland will be mind blowing, given she hasn't played in her home town for so long. Let us know what you think!