What do you get when you mix three killer records, pink silk pyjamas, four costume changes and 80% humidity? The answer is…the concert of the year. That’s right, cancelled multiple times due to COVID, Lorde’s long awaited 2021 Solar Power tour came to Australia with the summer vibe everyone needed. In front of an outdoor capacity crowd of 10,000 at Brisbane’s Riverstage Lorde put on a show that exceeded my lofty expectations.
With a fresh blonde look and pink silk pyjamas Lorde was touring her lates record Solar Power, which sees the powerful woman artist swapping her all black look for a yellow sundress. The set was minimal with a rotating staircase and large round drum in the middle. The show itself had a sense of drama and theatre to it that I did not expect. Lorde often sang in silhouette and on the staircase looking out at the crowd. She started the show with Leader of a new Regime off of her new record and said “Hi. My name’s Ella, but people call me Lorde. It’s hot today and I am going to sweat off all this fucking make-up.”
That set the tone for a killer show with a well crafted and well paced set list. There was a great mix of tracks from all three of her records. Tracks such as Mood Ring, The Path and Oceanic Feeling gave off a beachy summer vibe that got the crowd up and grooving. These tracks portray a new spiritual and joyful Lorde who quickly moved from pink satin to a bright yellow dress surfing the stage in some transcendental state. Listening to these tracks live gave me a new appreciation for her Solar Power record and Lorde is one of the few artists who sound better live than in studio.
Having said that, the hard hitting and club fuelled Lorde was still there. Donning a gold ball gown she blasted tracks like Tennis Court off of her first record Pure Heroine, as well as Green Light and Homemade Dynamite off of Melodrama. These tracks whipped the crowd up into a frenzy. However, with close to 80% humidity and 80 degree heat security passed out water to the first two rows and needed to help a few concert goers to safety before they fainted. Lorde even commented that she felt sorry for making everyone jump around, but thanked everyone for looking out for each other.
For me, the standout moments were the more personal tracks with minimal backing band input and the spotlight directly on Lorde. Her versions of Stoned at the Nail Salon and Liability very emotive and heartbreaking. Hearing these tracks live was a spiritual experience and highlighted how well written they are. Liability is one of the best written most soul crushing songs of the last 5 years and is a wonder to experience live. You feel like Lorde is spilling her emotions onto the crowd and allowing you into a part of her life. These songs not only helped break up the pace, but connected with the crowd in an intimate way, which brought together the whole show.
Having said all of that, we were all waiting for the encore. Lorde quickly returned to the stage in her classic all black and black lipstick to give the crowd some standouts from Pure Heroine. She stood in a dramatic side profile to deliver a powerful rendition of Royals that brought the crowd to its knees. She ended by saying “I wrote this song when I was 15 and it’s the last song. So, think of your 15 year old self and go fucking crazy!” She then gave a napalm blast of Team, which sent the crowd into rapture and capped off an amazing two plus hour 21 song set.
The show was nothing short of incredible and was worth the over two year wait. If Lorde comes anywhere near where you live you need to see her live. Her energy, amazing vocals and personal connection with the audience exceeded all my expectations. I can’t wait for her to tour a new record, so I can see her again.
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