The legendary Alexandra Palace sits atop a mountainous hill, making it impossible not to look out over the city in all its gloomy, autumnal glory. Tonight, the sold-out 10,250 capacity venue welcomes 21-year-old New Zealander, Ella Yelich-O’Connor – aka pop icon, Lorde.
Introducing Lorde’s set, the first of three video montages projects onto large screens, depicting grainy imagery of plants and Lorde herself swimming around in a pool – all whilst she narrates with cheesy poetry about love, life and loss. Before long, she runs out to centre stage, grinning from ear to ear as she goes straight into ‘Magnets’ – her 2015 collaboration with Disclosure. Pure Heroine cut ‘Tennis Court’ swiftly follows and unsurprisingly goes down a treat with the audience.
“I’m going to try something,” she says as she kneels down to play a xylophone that builds into the opening notes of fan-favourite ‘Buzzcut Season’. The devotees lap up this strange performance and cheer as loud as they can. Then the drunken-anthem ‘Sober’ introduces her first costume change.
‘Liability’ is one of the more delicate moments from Lorde’s latest album, Melodrama and is an appropriate moment for retrospection. She tells us of how she would catch a ferry, a train and then a bus when recording Pure Heroine and then listened to what she had done that day on the way home. But tonight is all about Melodrama, and a standout moment is created when tonight’s congregation eagerly sing the track’s ‘‘e-a-na-na-na-everyone’’ back to her.
After Lorde brilliantly turns Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ into a stylish and haunting ballad, a second costume change brings the show into its final 15 minutes, where the biggest hits come out to send the crowd into frenzy.
Mega-hit and debut single, ‘Royals’ kicks things off and it clearly still holds a special place in the heart of all the fans here tonight. Recent banger ‘Perfect Places’ leads into ‘Team’ with boundless enthusiasm, and the latter is treated like an old friend.
Accessible Melodrama lead-single ‘Green Light’ finishes the show. Lorde’s most obvious pop hit is about losing control and partying, which is exactly what every member of the audience does tonight. A sea of 20,500 arms wave and jump, letting go of any inhibitions they may have – and as we’ve come to expect, Lorde does exactly the same.
She may be idolised by everyone here, but, as a self-described ‘awkward misfit’, she isn’t a Lord above us, tonight she is one of us.
Featured Image by Emma Pottinger.
Words by George Press.