Playing to a packed-out crowd in the slightly dated O2 Academy, it was a surprise that Lorde wasn’t playing at The SSE Hydro tonight. However, it was a privilege to get the opportunity to see such a huge pop star in a much more intimate venue.
The show, her final UK date of the ‘Melodrama World Tour’, certainly lived up to the title of her sophomore album. Complete with neon pieces of art, costume changes during artistic video interludes and reflective moments, this was a celebration of everything that makes Lorde one of the most exciting pop stars of our generation. Her identity was stamped all over the set, which included 17 songs.
Opening with the latest single from Melodrama, ‘Homemade Dynamite’, she already had the buzzy crowd in the palm of her hand. From there the set was a true reflection of the variety of her back catalogue so far. She jumped from more dance-infused tracks, like her collaboration with Disclosure ‘Magnets’, to slower songs like ‘Hard Feelings’. Of course, none of this would be complete without her wildly individual dance moves as she threw herself around the stage like there was no tomorrow.
One of the stand-out moments of the show was a cover of Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’, which she also covered as part of Radio 1’s Live Lounge Month in September. Ella Yelich-O’Connor (her actual name) put her own twist on it and, while her drummer was largely hidden by a vast neon art installation, she put her own twist on the track with the classic drum beat. It really suited her unique vocal tone.
There was also a really beautiful moment before she started singing ‘Liability’ and ‘Liability (reprise)’. She sat on a stool for a moment and talked to her devoted audience about her experience writing the song with a very heartfelt story which got the whole audience chanting along to “I’m a little much for e-e-na-na-na-e-e-everyone”. It was very powerful and showed the impact her song-writing has had on so many people. While a lot of the crowd was made up of the generation that have grown up with the now 20-year-old star, it was interesting to see the diverse range of people in the audience all singing along in that moment. It was like Lorde’s songs were taking them back to their days of being young adults.
Other highlights included the singles ‘Green Light’, ‘Royals’ and ‘Team’, which all had the crowd singing and dancing along. The set had the perfect balance of new and old songs, performing album tracks for die-hard fans as well as the hits that everyone knows.
Lorde’s charisma and epic stage presence carried the show, along with her impressive live vocals, showing that she doesn’t need to be surrounded by spectacle to give an epic performance.
5 out of 5