Sydney is still buzzing after Lorde’s debut concert in Sydney last Thursday night.
The 16-year-old singer from Auckland, New Zealand, wowed the crowd with a set list from her new album Pure Heroine but included some older songs from her debut EP, The Love Club.
It was a first-in, first-served event. Doors opened at eight but people lined the side of the Metro as early as seven. Early birds got the first choice of unreserved seating vying for front and centre, cramming in like sardines. It was impossible to push past the bodies in an attempt to get closer to the act.
The supporting act was Australian musician Oliver Tank. His use of laptop, sampler, and guitar created a harmonious mix of electronica with his dreamlike vocals vibrating through the theatre making you want to close your eyes and drift off into neverland.
Tank’s set lasted 30 minutes, leaving the crowd with a half-hour wait for the head act, growing anxious for Lorde to set the stage alight. When she finally appeared, it became clear she was worth the wait.
Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, her real name, walked onto the stage, glaring darkly into the crowd before beginning her set with Bravado, coyly saying “Hey Sydney!” The crowd, in recognition, went nuts after the first verse. The young singer was not shy on stage as she danced to her own music and banged her head to the drums in Biting Down. She talked to the audience between songs, asking us to talk back to her. She shared a story about performing in Brisbane despite feeling sick, and said she was sweating like a pig.
Her musicianship added appropriate spin on covers Swingin’ Party by rock band The Replacements, and morphing her own song Ribs with hip-hop artist Kanye West’s Hold My Liquor.
The energy in the theatre was divided by people singing and dancing while others opted to take it in by standing and watching. In one instance Lorde ordered the crowd to “fucking dance” in a casual teenage way, exciting everyone into submission. Under the pretence of an encore, she concluded her set with A World Alone. She said she doesn’t do encores.
Overall, Lorde radiated an energy and charisma uncommon for a 16-year-old. The dedication to her lyrics and performance were apparent in the way she presented herself on stage – with a down-to-earth nature only existent in the mind of a teenage girl who wanted to be queen. – Alexandra Pedavoli
Screen shot of Lorde taken from her Royals YouTube video.