Review: Lorde at Riverstage, Brisbane, 23 November 2017
Kiwi pop phenomenon Lorde exploded with her own brand of homemade dynamite in a charismatic performance at Brisbane’s Riverstage on Thursday. The charming and enigmatic 21-year-old – real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor – thrilled adoring fans as she performed tracks from her debut album Pure Heroine and this year’s Melodrama.
Support act George Maple kicked things off with an outstanding vocal range and passionate movement throughout her 45-minute set. However, memories of Maple were obliterated once Lorde arrived onstage, taking the audience on a journey filled with charisma and excitement.
Opening with the aforementioned, up-beat ‘Homemade Dynamite’, Lorde had the crowd in the palm of her hand and refused to let go as she transitioned seamlessly into ‘Magnets’, her collaboration with Disclosure.
Lorde frequently made clear how genuinely humbled she was by the occasion, pausing between tracks to express her gratitude.
The show was split in three parts, with three different outfits and stage designs to reflect the mood and ambience of the tunes performed. The first third was that of a dance party featuring tracks like ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Sober’, as well as a xylophone-introduced ‘Buzzcut Season’.
The middle portion was dedicated to the slower, more emotive tunes; featuring ‘The Louvre’ and the tear-inducing ‘Liability’. The latter was a highlight, as Lorde sat down on stage and delivered the song’s heartbreaking lyrics: “The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy ’til all of the tricks don’t work anymore and then they are bored of me.”
She danced, pranced and partied across the stage with a smile and gratitude so genuine it felt like she could have been on a stage a million miles from home.
Lorde gave a nod to Brisbane’s favourite sons Powderfinger via a short ‘My Happiness’ interlude, as if the crowd needed any more reason to adore her.
There was a tribute to Bruce Springsteen too, with a bit of ‘I’m On Fire’ making its way into Lorde’s ‘400 Lux’.
Lorde closed out the evening with the fanfare of ‘Perfect Places’, ‘Royals’ and ‘Green Light’. In shimmering pink get-up she danced, pranced and partied across the stage with a smile and gratitude so genuine it felt like she could have been on a stage a million miles from home.
Lorde whispered things and the city sang them back to her, as worshipping fans took over on the choruses of her best-known tracks.
Relenting to the inevitable calls for more, she blessed the audience with the masterful sounds of ‘Loveless’.
At just 21, it’s easy to forget Lorde is so young and doesn’t have the performing experience of more seasoned visitors to Riverstage. But this performance proved just how much she’s grown since bursting onto the scene as teenager a few short years ago.
Brisbane sure knows how to love Lorde, and if the reaction from the adoring masses is anything to go by, the city would have her back tomorrow.