Date / Venue: Friday October 31st, TSB Bank Arena, Wellington
Fresh from winning two Silver Scroll awards the evening before, Lorde gave the Wellington crowd a solid and at times tingling performance, working through her album Pure Heroine along with covers of local and international acts.
Although diehard fans were sitting quietly outside the TSB Arena at 9am - 12 hours before Lorde was due on stage - that the performance hadn't sold out might have lulled a few fans into a false sense of security... and left them sorely disappointed, seeking illusive extra tickets at the entrance. What turned out to be a sell out show drew an unusual mix of hipsters, parents with kids and Halloween wizards and witches to the Wellington gig of Lorde's much talked about homecoming tour. Much of the crowd was decked out in black clothing in a tribute their heroine's neo-goth style and dark vibe.
Taking the stage shortly after 9pm dramatically lit in a solitary spot, Lorde began with Glory And Gore before launching quickly into White Teeth Teens. The crowd screamed at the opening tones of the hit Tennis Court, a treat to see in the flesh if you're only used to the striking and stylised music video. As a performer Lorde is slick, with a confidence beyond her 17 years. She cuts an imposing figure on stage in sleek, black but casual clothing, and at times seems lost in the performance, enacting each lyric or emotion. There's a touch of Kate Bush or Grace Jones about Lorde, a striking female power and theatricality that promises she will only grow as a performer and musician.
Accompanied on stage by only a drummer and keyboardist, behind Lorde were a trio of square video screens, accompanied by lighting effects that were minimalistic and at times dramatic. An outfit change into flowing white marked the second part of her show, opening with the synthpop Bravado. In an accent that wavered between Kiwi and American, this section of the concert was characterised by Lorde's interaction with the crowd. She remarked on the difference between performing one year ago at Wellington's legendary, but sadly no longer, Mighty Mighty venue to just 100 people and 4,000 that packed the TSB. Introducing a cover of Bon Iver's Heavenly Father, Lorde described the song as being about faith, trusting and a personal favourite when she's not feeling confident.
A cover of the hometown band The Phoenix Foundation later, Lorde left the stage. Anticipation was palpable in the arena before she reappeared in flashing lights in a billowing red outfit to sing one of the evening's highlights, Royals. Letting the excited crowd sing lines back to her during the chorus, she followed up with Yellow Flicker Beat and the catchy, beat driven Team. Finishing with A World Alone, Lorde bowed, thanked the crowd and left the stage. Decisive, minimal and striking - a lot like Lorde herself.