21 November, Sydney Opera House Forecourt
Her royal majesty, that is Lorde, graced the Sydney foreshore last night, bringing with her a total Melodrama. Ba-dum-ch.
The forecourt of the Sydney Opera House will make any performance fantastic, but Lorde made the night simply magical.
As crowds started pouring on to the forecourt steps, local Sydney songstress George Maple attracted the crowd. It was worth an early arrival. Dressed in all black, the singer stood starkly against the city skyline. Her powerful voice serenaded over the harbour, and I think Opera Bar received a few extra patrons to listen in on the show.
After a brief intermission (and some sneaky cocktails, naturally) the screens flickered on, and a wavy, red-saturated transmission began. Without further fanfare, Lorde entered centre stage, opening with Homemade Dynamite. A total buzz erupted amongst the surprised crowd, which was filled with all sorts from white collar suits, fun-seeking teens and little tots who’d come with their very cool parents (seriously Mum, why didn’t you ever take me to stuff like this???)
Timeless classic Tennis Court followed next, still as relevant as it was in 2013. A true testament to her artistry, Lorde’s songs never go out of style. Her music masterfully captures the vulnerability of youth, from her sixteen-year-old self experiencing the highs and lows of partying for the first time, to her experiences now as a 21-year-old, and the concepts of dealing with identity and reality.
“My my my!” was the first thing the Kiwi performer exclaimed, seemingly taken aback by the view before her – both the crowd and the harbour, repeatedly exclaiming, “My goodness me!” (bless her dear soul).
Her engagement with the crowd was incredibly honest, and whilst of course the music was the key part of the night, it was this that made her performance something extra special. She congratulated the audience on our recent same-sex marriage vote, taking a LGBTI flag from a fan and draping it over her shoulders. Lorde then treated us to a little cover of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. The love was real.
The setlist perfectly balanced the favourites from Pure Heroine and her incredible Melodrama. The crowd was constantly kept on their toes, from her bubbly dance tracks like The Louvre to emotional ballads like Liability. Yes, I unashamedly sang along to every song. No, I didn’t care. And neither did anyone else, as they were doing the exact same thing.
Memorable moments included Buzzcut Season, in which Lorde mesmerised the crowd to silence, playing the xylophone live on stage to begin the song. As a true romantic, of course, the concert wouldn’t be complete without a song dedication. That dedication was to triple j, whom she honoured with a spontaneous Like A Version cover of Aussie rockers Hunter & Collectors track, Throw Your Arms Around Me. We get you, Lorde.
The night ended with Green Light, and lots of singing and jumping. Before performing the last song, Lorde again took a few moments to talk with her audience – and I truly believe she meant it when she honoured us all, telling us that “It’s so fucking good to see you Sydney”. Lucky fans in the front row got up close with her, as she ran through the crowd without losing pitch or missing a note. As we hesitated to leave, Lorde blessed us all with one last song, Loveless, and I can confirm that, if it were possible, there was never more love for her than in that moment.
Image credit: Daniel Boud