Walking into Lorde's
third and final show at Roseland Ballroom last night amidst cold rainfall, the weather felt strangely identical of the Queen Bee's dark mystique. I instantly noticed the diverse crowd; there were young girls running around with black lipstick, your average 20-something-year-old-Williamsburg-hipster, and a hell of a lot of older people (probably parents) who seemed like they were either there for their kid or led through the door by sheer curiosity. Regardless, the anticipation of Miss Ella's presence was inescapable: Lorde's first two shows sold out within minutes during their presale in December, causing Live Nation to add a third show which sold out within a matter of hours. Lo-Fang was the opener who offered electronic pop sounds to charge up the audience before the 17-year-old Grammy winner took the stage.
Lorde opened up the show with "Glory and Gore", declaring "That's why we're making headlines / You could try and take us/ But victory's contagious." Of course the Heroine herself was decked out in all black attire, bobbing her lush locks back and forth to the synthesizers and beats.
Her production was minimal with a few bright strobe lights flashing to the tempos and the spotlight switching from Lorde to her drummer to her keyboardist. She didn't have any backdrop images until halfway through her set, but her stellar vocals kept everyone entranced in the meantime.
Upon first impression (or first few), Lorde's stage presence feels slightly awkward to watch, but a better word would be misunderstood. I felt indifferent towards her questionable, impulsive way of moving to her music, but as the show went on I felt like I was starting to understand
her. She sipped tea in between songs, noting that she was getting over a sickness, and often walked across the stage during verses with one hand in her pocket. Her passion was emulating throughout the venue, but her collectiveness is what left me stunned. I forgot many times during the show that this young lady was just 17-years-old and already a Grammy winner.
Although collected, she is indefinitely timid by nature. She only took the time to explain "Ribs" which is about a party Ella threw when her parents were away. (Not sure what would go on at a party hosted by Lorde, but it would probably involve lots of red wine, talks about Kurt Vonnegut books and obviously feminist issues...or something along those lines). Anyway, she was the most vulnerable at this point of the show as she confessed her fears of growing up: "It still scares me all the fucking time...the things you gain and lose."
I was relieved when the last few songs strayed away from the album versions, offering fans a variety of the songs we couldn't escape on the radio for the past year. I was even more relieved to see her in a flowing golden attire, happy to see Lorde owned an article of clothing with color.
In a day where we have to deal with Miley Cyrus straddling hot dogs in uncomfortable looking leotards and pretend that all Taylor Swift's songs don't sound exactly the same, Lorde has come to save the day. A few weeks ago, she told Rookie
magazine how she met David Bowie, and that he told her she sounded like "the voice of tomorrow." We can only hope the Man who Sold The World is right about this one, because this Queen Bee's buzz is nothing less than magnificent.