An Ode To Lorde & Her Universally Killer Live Performance

rexusa_1902258fPhoto: Norrie Montgomery/ REX USA.
On Wednesday night, I went to see Lorde in concert. When my friend got me the ticket a few months back I was kinda meh about it. Not because I don't like Lorde, but because I don't usually go to concerts unless I know nearly all of the songs and have a pretty good idea of what the crowd's gonna be like. But, by Wednesday morning, I had expanded my knowledge beyond the now overplayed "Royals" and learned that there was a line of tween girls wrapped around the block in front of Roseland Ballroom, already eager to stake out front-row spots. The former was a great sign — I'd come to really like her music. The latter was a little disconcerting.
Still, I have to say, the concert was incredible. Lorde killed it. Her set was succinct but complete, with every song the crowd wanted to hear. Her presence was self-assured yet laid-back. There was one major costume change — she went from a black sweater over a black mesh dress to a gold caftan that would have made Florence Welch jealous. And, there was a confetti-shower finale that seemed to fit in perfectly with the teenage singer's enchanting voice and demeanor.
Yes, she's young, but she's not juvenile. She has perspective, talent, and, seemingly, the tact necessary to navigate the potentially awkward transitional phase between an artist's debut and their sophomore album. This is why Lorde's not just a teen act. She's an everyone act.
Of course, there was a healthy dose of adult supervision at Wednesday's show, but the parents standing on the sides of the ballroom were able to get into it, too. It's the kind of music kids feel cool listening to, but carpooling dads won't beg to turn off en route to school. And, it's catchy enough to be on the radar of old-school singer-songwriters like Ian Tyson, who gave the young songstress a shout out at a recent Q&A panel, while discussing the future of music.
Lorde's hits can be seen as a form of dressed-up normcore, appropriate for listeners of all ages. She sings about riding the bus, taking the train to the party, and getting tired of throwing her hands up in the air. But, her relatability is not a shtick in the way, say, Miley's sexuality is. It's second nature for Lorde, as are her twitchy, jerky, and (yes) still somehow sexy dance moves that make her live performance worth the cost of admission.
Add to this, the fact that Lorde and her boyfriend are totally adorable, that she stood up against an alleged homophobic remark on live radio, and that she's won two Grammys already. Yep, she's worthy a bona fide girl crush.
I know I'm not alone in my admiration. I'm just slowly coming to realize her vitality as a present-day star. She's different enough to appeal to the punk crew, yet pop enough to be played at a school dance. I'm genuinely excited to see where her music will go in the coming years, because I expect it to remain relevant and envelope-pushing. I'd also totally go to another concert. Especially if she's going to do that confetti thing again. That was really awesome.

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