Reviewed on Thursday October 17.
Standing centre stage, the porcelain-skinned wunderkind flips her dark mane over her shoulders and croons out the opening lines to ‘Bravado’, the audience immediately hushed in reverence and awe as Lorde’s immaculate husky tones sweep the room.
Beforehand, and proving a delectable entree to the night’s sonic banquet, Sydney production wizard Oliver Tank thrusts the crowd into a synth-padded jumping castle, with each surface beaming out ambient dreamscapes. Having already scored support slots with Lana Del Rey and James Blake, Tank’s minimal electronica soundscapes and crisp vocal musings are mesmerising. Serving up his Dreams EP, Tank also gives us a taste of his impending release, Slow Motion Music, cranking out lead single ‘A Different Speed’. And what great set is complete without a Snoop Dogg cover? ‘Beautiful’ – and it is.
Flanked by a band of two sharing synth and percussion duties, Ella Yelich O’Connor, aptly owning her moniker Lorde, plus a legion of worshippers, glides onto a smoky stage, grabs her mic and glares smoulderingly ahead. She dips into her The Love Club EP, before tackling her chart-crushing debut album, Pure Heroine.
Bare spotlights from left and right are joined by blinding beams, momentarily turning Lorde into an ethereal silhouette and illuminating the erratic pulses of her body as she physically slips into each track. Naturally, her devotees are prompted to do the same, and bouts of hell-awkward dancing are noted through the crowd. A fan (of the electric species) frames her hair around her face like a crown, and joined by hypnotising beats, it all seems surreal. Until Lorde pauses and apologetically confesses, “I tend to sweat like a freak onstage”.
She then charms with ‘Ribs’, continuing to possess her lower vocal register with impressive control and credence, and mastering the higher parts too. As expected, ‘Royals’ happens, with finger clicks across the Metro and defiant sing-along participation about ten notches louder than the rest of the set. A cover of Kanye’s ‘Hold My Liquor’ and The Replacements’ ‘Swingin’ Party’ pierce the evening, and everyone is so frozen in the moment that our golden girl has to remind us to “fucking dance, please!”
Then a laconic, “Here’s the deal. I don’t do encores. I hate them”, followed by rapturous applause and a compromised pseudo-encore of ‘A World Alone’. And we all happily sing along, “People are talking, people are talking”. And they will.
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