Lorde At The Belasco Theater
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By Nicole Pajer
Just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 25 the stage lights in the Belasco Theater dimmed, a keyboardist and drummer took the stage and a sea of smart phones went up across the sold-out crowd as 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O'Connor, known by her stage name Lorde, kicked off the opening notes to "Bravado." She swayed back and forth in her black jumper with a small smile forming on her face as the audience sang along to "Biting Down." She giggled and before greeting her army of admirers, asked that we "give her a minute" as she adjusted the straps on her dress, which she joked was being difficult. Following her third song, "Glory And Gore," she honed in on the audience and chirped, "The photographers are leaving. Now we can have fun!"
Over the next hour, Lorde took the audience through the five tracks on her 2012 EP, The Love Club EP, before diving into material from her debut studio album, Pure Heroine, which hits stores Sept. 30. For the first half of the set, the stage was dark with a single light illuminating Lorde and a few occasional flashes of red from three tall lights positioned behind her. The young songstress took the microphone for "Tennis Court," bringing the audience into a frenzy after delivering the line, "Pretty soon I'll be getting on my first plane." Fans screamed "I love you" and "you rule" as she continued through the song, reeling them in with playful lyrics such as, "Baby be the class clown, I'll be the beauty queen in tears." Lorde then wowed the crowd with "Ribs" when she transitioned into a sample of Kanye West's "Hold My Liquor," rapping through the lines, "OK, I smashed your Corolla."
Following "Good Fights," the highlight of the evening came when the stage went dark and there was a pause as Lorde conversed with her band. "Just debating what to play next," she said before launching into "The Love Club." We sang along to her punchy lyrics and then it was time for her smash hit, "Royals." Lorde teased the audience with an extended instrumental intro but when the first notes hit the crowd went wild. Soon everyone was passionately belting out the kitschy lyrics, "Gold teeth/Grey Goose/Tripping in the bathroom/Bloodstains/Ball gowns/Trashing the hotel room/We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams."
At one point, Lorde came to the edge of the stage to take inventory of the crowd and beamed when she saw the audience was delivering the chorus louder than her.
The show ended with "400 Lux" and "A World Alone." After the last note of the night, Lorde turned and silently walked offstage. For five minutes after her performance, the audience stood in hopes of an encore. The house music came on but the lights remained dim. The crowd started to chant "encore, encore" followed by "we want more!" Though they tried their best to summon a bonus performance, Lorde remained backstage and the evening was a wrap. Someone commented that "she had probably run through all her songs." But it's safe to say we have a lot more to look forward to from Lorde.
To catch Lorde in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
"Glory & Gore"
"Ribs" (featuring a sample of Kanye West's "Hold Your Liquor")
"White Teeth Teens"
"The Love Club"
"A World Alone"
(Nicole Pajer is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She has written for a variety of publications, including Billboard, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Hemispheres, The Red Bulletin, Emmy.com, the Honda Civic tour, Coachella CAMP, and more. Follow her on Twitter @NicolePajer.)