Lorde and I are BFFs, I’m one of her thousands in crowd. She acknowledged my cheers with a point and a smile, completely honoring my love and respect for her. Megaphone to her chest, she broadcast the boom boom boom boom and make ‘em all dance to it ("The Louvre", Melodrama). She was so into it and so was I. It was glorious.
Her grand entrance was anti-climatic and super sincere; baring her open and honest SELF with the perfect balance of humility and confidence, entering at a pace showing her absolute excitement to be in San Francisco performing for her Sunday Outside Lands crowd.
Lorde understands herself as an ever-evolving woman in a crazy world. It's apparent in the lyrics she sings with whole-hearted genuine emotion and resounding voice. No denying the talent, this woman sings without holding anything back. She walked on stage with unbounded energy and left with minimal reserves, even asking the crowd to give a little bit back so she can give it right back with "Green Light".
She’s come into her own at a young age and has seen enormous success. Respectable, the fact that she is free to be herself because she has allowed that for herself. She understands the vulnerability of being different and trusting that being true to oneself can be misunderstood.
“It's crazy to sing a song that you wrote in a very vulnerable alone time. It’s about that feeling when you think you’ve used up just about everyone, no one has been able to stick around. Everyone’s like ‘Woah OK, you’re a bit MUCH, I’m gonna peace out’. And what a feeling when you think someone is in it for the long-haul with you and they just bounce. It's the worst.”
She recognizes some people can’t handle different. The crowd hold out their hands making hearts welcoming her to speak about the very real feelings we’ve all experienced.
“But I think it really teaches you something about yourself, it teaches you how to be alone...how to truly be alone.” She explains a moment in her life when she was truly alone. “I remember so many evenings of just sitting alone in my house feeling like the silence was going to smack off the wall and kill me. It was so grim. But I think times like that end up being very transformative and really teach you about yourself. I’m really grateful for that time now, even though at that time it was so terrible.”
Understanding the juxtapose of feeling the pain to sing about being alone in Golden Gate Park for how many thousands of people, she goes into "Liability".
After a deadening silence, she rams us into "Supercut", sing-chanting “In my head I do everything right”, pleading with herself as she melts on stage to a self-forgiving Child’s Pose.
And rolls on being different. It's the path of least resistance for her, screw you if you don’t like it. Bold and strong, she loves herself and so do all of her screaming fans.
There are so many people in the crowd. She wears a super cool black body suit with a long-sleeved see-through lace drop that drapes down to her white Adidas sneaks. Her hair is up in two tight buns on top either side of her head, many large black snap barrettes holding stragglers in no particular order. She no doubt has a look, her look, and she is so much more than pretty.
She’s the whole package and then some. A straightforward artistic performer; feeling her songs, dancing, having the time of her life...on stage. Being HER rockstar. Giving us herself, breaking all expectations of who she is. We saw her with nothing in between, and it was wonderful.
Lorde cut loose, pulling out all her originally evolved dance moves, as awkwardly cool as they are, they totally fit her. She easily maintains credibility; it's second nature to her, to just be herself. She can’t help but flash her coy and humble smiles at the crowd; She can barely contain them...she wasn’t about to accommodate any notion of her being better than anyone. She was pure Lorde.
Her set is super strong and you can see she is totally into it, 100%...vocal chords, energy, everything. She is completely in her element...in herself, with real confidence. Her smiles are effectively genuine and heartfelt.
“My name is Lorde. I am from Aukland, New Zealand and I’m really far away from home right now. We love playing in the Bay Area, we’ve played some of our favorite shows here.” She gives us a heads up for what is about to happen: “We’ve never done this live before”, starting "Hard Feelings". She raps out her clever words rifled with difficult emotions of relationships matched with catchy beats and interesting electronic tones.
Her voice, stamped on the San Francisco mist...one of a kind.
She can’t help but interpret her music the way she does. Empathically. She completely lets go with her choreographed dead-weighted body haphazardly flung in circles. She dances together with other dancers, but in no way do they try to dance like each other.
I think Lorde is a damn artistic genius. I feel she was always one to not give a flying Fuck to care what others think of her. Self-confidence and unwavering belief in oneself at a young age, tough to come by for young white females who’ve historically been bombarded with social pressures to be seen and not heard.
She sure knows how to run things.
The five dancers on stage for "Buzzcut Season" may or may not have been professional dancers, but it was obvious they were intentionally dancing quite awkward. Their choreographed routine never in sync, with uncoordinated almost klutzy moves loaded with amateurish bumbling. They’d flop their bodies with improvisational gracelessness. At one point, they all dropped to surround Lorde kicking up their two left feet, a circle of white Adidas sneakers held in the air with no particular poise. It was nothing I’d seen in a professional set, I will give her that. But even more than that, a point was made: Vulnerability was blatantly laid out on stage for all to gawk - And although I may not have grasped the idea at the exact moment it was happening, I was embracing it.
In "Ribs", the dance crew jumped in place and broke out into erratic seizure-like dancing, 100% individual stylistic interpretive dancing.
As distracting as it may have been, I guarantee we all had it in us to appreciate the awkwardness within AT LEAST ourselves, if not only the dancers on stage or the weird kid standing next to you. Strings were pulled for those of us with a strong sense of being true to ourself, self-consciousness and all. At some point we learn to exhibit zero shame for being who we are, awkwardness, humility, love and all.
I know the dancers invited gawks & remarks, but it is not anything new for Lorde. She’s put herself out there as the different one from the get-go. She knew she was different and completely embraced it, never trying to be like anyone else. WHY? There is no need. The world needs Lorde.
After her debut album Pure Heroine, I could hardly wait to hear what she’d come out with next. She explains to us, “the reason I’d come out of hibernation...I put a record out, finally. Melodrama is very much a document of all the emotions you feel as a brand new adult. The pain, the mystery. And this song is very much a song about joy all your friends are at the right place at the right time and the right song comes on. This is "Homemade Dynamite."
My God, this woman put out a platinum record BEFORE she was a legal adult.
Lorde high-knee run-marches back and forth across the stage, NOT singing to track. You can hear her holding breath together.
Wait for it...she stands still for the explosion...“Pcccccooouuuu!”
She totally blew this one up.
She brings out her friend and Melodrama co-producer Jack Antonoff (aka Bleachers) and asks the crowd to give him the warmest fucking welcome ever. Jack refers to Lorde by her real name, Ella. They chat as chums do, reminiscing on time spent together in and out of studio. They sit on the edge of the stage together to Jack’s acoustic, singing "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" oblivious to repercussions of off-key or timed vocals. It's cute, their subjection to humiliation.
She plays the iconic drumbeat snap for "Royals", and asks the crowd, “Are you going to sing along?” This song, sang like she was trying to sell a million more copies, proved her live performance is NOT canned.
Getting sarcastically operatic in "Perfect Places" we all think, “What the fuck are perfect places anyway.”
She leaves everything on stage, gives it all and leaves with little. You can see her progressively getting tired towards the end as any athlete would exhaust after an incredible workout. Her dance friends came out for the last dance party and threw out every last bit of ‘don’t ever pull out that dance move in public’ all over Lorde’s stage.
Dear Lorde, thank you.
"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" (Paul Simon cover)