Concert Review: Lorde

Giliann Karon

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DISCLAIMER: Lorde doesn‰’t have a Bandcamp, but I couldn‰’t resist writing about her.

I thanked my Uber driver and followed groups of teenage girls wearing crop tops and bearded men in zip up hoodies. We collectively booked it down 7th St. and darted past purple flags that bore “The Anthem.‰” The line looped around sets of metal barriers. I found myself in between a group of high schoolers talking about yesterday‰’s soccer game and two girls in their twenties that intimidated the hell out of me, simply because they were dressed really cute and my dark purple lipstick definitely didn‰’t match my skin tone. I spent the next half hour shivering in line, trying to blot my lipstick, and praying I wouldn‰’t be too far from the stage. Every so often, I‰’d peek at my ticket in the pocket of my wallet— “Lorde‰” it said in small black letters.

Eventually, I made it past security and was spit out into the General Admission floor. The pit was massive. Gold curtains with gold tassels draped from the balcony and metallic balloons in the shape of Run the Jewels‰’ hand signs hung from the stage ceiling.

At around 8:30, the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered. Killer Mike and El-P walked on stage (it was also at this point where I realized I had missed Mitski because I napped for too long). After the cheering died down, Killer Mike held his microphone up to his lips. “We‰’re Run the Jewels and we came to burn this stage to the motherfucking ground.‰Û

Their set was good, albeit a little long. I don‰’t dislike Run the Jewels at all. I have vivid memories of blasting “Blockbuster Night Part 1‰” in my 2003 Ford Escape as I drove to the polls to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Ohio primaries. Save Killer Mike‰’s close relationship with Senator Sanders, my knowledge of Run the Jewels is minimal. I like their music, but I didn‰’t spend half a paycheck to see Run the Jewels.

Their set ended after around half an hour. I was presented with the challenge of keeping myself entertained and making sure my phone doesn‰’t die. I continued to people watch and study the set list, crestfallen that “White Teeth Teens‰” didn‰’t make the cut.

At exactly 9:14, the place went black. The stage lights flashed green, then blue, then green again. What I can only describe as circus music played in the background. The aqua lights transitioned to a violet blue and everything was silent.

A breathy and panicked voice sang “night, midnight, lose my mind.‰” The audience‰’s screams nearly drowned it out. She opened with “Sober‰” and hardly paused before continuing on with “Homemade Dynamite.‰Û

She jumped around on stage as dancers twirled behind her. She did some light crowd work, but she mainly stuck to her songs. At one point, she leaned down and grabbed the hand of a girl that said she was sad. Two big screens at either side of the stage displayed her face. She stood in front of a massive crowd, yet the show felt deeply personal and intimate. She also stopped to order a single malt on the rocks. She sat on the edge of the stage, nursing her drink, explaining what “Liability‰” meant to her.

She created a feeling that night. Melodrama perfectly captures heartbreak and solitude. Her listeners recognize that. We‰’re drawn to her ability to put our feelings into words because we want to be understood. I bounced up and down to the chorus of “Ribs‰” and felt lost in the warm energy wrapped around me. We all held our right hands high in the air and swayed to “Perfect Places.‰” Everyone around me was enchanted by her presence. We experienced what Melodrama means to her and all danced to it together under soft blue lights.

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Concert Review: Lorde