Lorde // O2 Apollo. Manchester // 26.9.17
I watched Lorde kick off the proceedings of her Melodrama world tour at the O2 Apollo Manchester. The string of concerts would be her first time touring in the UK since her 2013 mega hit ‘Royals’, a song that at just seventeen earned her the title of the youngest artist to have achieved a number-one single since 1987. Now, aged twenty, she is sharing her second EP. I was excited to see how the slightly matured Lorde entertained the crowd; it is safe to say that I was not disappointed.
After reading an article in which Lorde explained how her experiences of synaesthesia (a condition whereby sound and colour may be experienced simultaneously) shaped her creative process, my expectations for staging and aesthetic were high. However, it was immediately clear that her artistic vision was strong with her stage adorned by a fluorescent dreamscape. The multiple capricious neon signs and flashing LEDS created a delightful visual spectacle. Although, the lights certainly weren’t the only captivating thing to focus on, Lorde’s energy and movements on stage were a delight to witness, giving an already animated crowd plenty more reasons to cheer.
The set-list was a good mix of both her debut and most recent album, which kept both original and recent fans satisfied. I have personally enjoyed Melodrama the most. Highlights from the night were ‘The Louvre’, ‘Supercut’ and ‘Perfect Places’, but older hits including ‘Tennis Court’ also packed a memorable punch. One truly notable moment was a conversation to the crowd in which she talked about the writing process for ‘Liability’, a very genuine delineation, and her emotions translated on a personal level to the crowd. It is this personal connection that can be difficult for artists to achieve. Also, throwing in a cover of ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, was always going to be crowd favourite and coupled with a neon floral archway, led to a memorable experience.
Her performance was studded with three outfit changes, two interludes and glittering dancers gracing the stage and it was these intricacies that elevated the show from just a standard gig to an unforgettable performance. It was clear that by taking a few years away to work on her musical style and to understand herself, that Lorde has become a more mature and well-rounded artist. Her big finale was shaped by the Apollo being lit green for – you’ll never guess it – ‘Green Light’, her best charting track from the latest album. The song was met by an effervescent being showered by star shaped confetti for extra effect. Her last track was the live debut of ‘Loveless’ which ended the night well but slightly brought the crowd back down from an amazing high, yet left us feeling wholly content.