I grew up with Lorde (otherwise known as her real name: Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor). Not literally, even though sometimes it feels that way. She’s only two months younger than I am. Her first album “Pure Heroine” helped me cope with the cliché thoughts and pains that come with going to high school in the suburbs. “Melodrama” left a permanent imprint on my final year of college in a city. The last time I saw Lorde, it was September of my freshman year of college. Now, I got to see her again for the Melodrama world tour in Boston at the giant TD Garden, just a month shy of graduating. This tour feature’s Lorde’s blend of confidence, vulnerability and pure artistry. For those who are fans of Lorde, you know she’s not one to hold back.
On this tour, Lorde weaves songs from “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama” to create a masterful mix of her work.
Lorde has said while making “Melodrama” she used her synesthesia to help her craft the songs and their order. The stage set up seemed to be on the same wavelength. The color scheme was breathtaking. When singing “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” a deep-cutting breakup song, the stage was blue and mournful. The stage bloomed and burst with pink as she sang “The Louvre,” a song capturing the obsessive and gooey moments of first falling in love. When she ended with “Green Light,” the whole room had Emerald City-esque glow.
The whole show was filled to the brim with vulnerability and raw emotion.
The stage featured a large glass box, that ebbed and flowed with the music. Sometimes it was stagnant on the stage. Sometimes it was up in the air, moving side to side. At one point, Lorde stepped into the translucent box and conducted her costume change in front of the whole audience. She stripped down to just a bandeau and her underwear and changed into a glittery pink jumpsuit. Not to overuse the cliché caterpillar into butterfly metaphor, but it felt like we were watching her blossom. With her music Lorde strips down to the bare feeling, the thoughts all of us have but don’t want to say out loud out of fear of coming off as ‘crazy’ or ‘too emotional.’ On this tour and with this album, Lorde defies societal expectations. She wants us to see all of her.
Toward the end of the show, Lorde sat surrounded by lights, and sang some of her slower songs.
When she sang “Writer in the Dark,” a song she sings every night, she still teared up. These songs still make me emotional tens of hundred of listens later, and it was touching to see she’s still moved by them too. Nothing felt stale, even though she’s been on this world tour for months. While she sang the whole crowd lit up with phone lights. She told the audience to never feel like we are too much.
“I see myself as such a mess of emotions and dreams — it gets pretty messy in here sometimes,” she said. “I’m not always the easiest person to love, you know? But it’s what I am. A lot of the album is realizing that. You have to take me for exactly who I am. I want you to know that you can be vivid, you can be wild. I want that for you Boston.”
I am my mother’s child, I’ll love you ’til my breathing stops, I’ll love you ’til you call the cops on me.
You can tell that Lorde puts in a lot of thought and personal touches to her tour.
Every dancer, costume and light had a purpose. The choreography was breathtaking. Lorde has been criticized for her ‘weird’ dancing, but her performances are energetic and remorseless. Her stage presence is infectious. Before “Supercut” she played a series of Joan Didion quotes on the screen. Another female writer and artists who unapologetically displays her thoughts and emotion. It seems like an appropriate team-up.
The setlist was expansive, covering all of “Melodrama” and some less known songs.
To my delight, Lorde performed “Magnets,” a Disclosure song released a couple years ago where she sang the vocals. She also sang “Yellow Flicker Beat,” from “The Hunger Games” soundtrack. These songs were the only new songs fans got from Lorde in the four years between her albums. She also performed a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Solo” in-between “Writer in the Dark” and “Liability,” which felt like a punch in the gut that I begged for.
Even in a giant stadium, Lorde makes her show feel personal.
She told personal stories about Boston, reminiscing on when she played Boston Calling a few years ago and the weather was so terrible that she only got 40 minutes to play. I was at that festival, waiting it out through the torrential rain to see even the smallest blip of her. I’d like to think she reminisce at every show in every city, leaving her mark around the world. Confetti rained down at the end of “Green Light,” a typical concert finale, but even Lorde left her touch on that predictable ending. The pieces of confetti were in the shapes of stars, and each one had writing on it that read: “Melodrama Forever.”