This is melodrama.
We were warned before the show started. In fact, we were warned the minute Lorde teased the release of new music last spring. You can ever hear siren-like words off her sophomore album Melodrama chant “…we told you this was melodrama…” during “Sober II (Melodrama).” Still, we were not ready for the theatrics waiting for us at the Anthem on April 8.
It’s not that the costumes were flashier or the props more impressive than other pop concerts, but that night the 21-year-old from New Zealand was able to connect all 6,000 in the audience and take us on a journey of dancing, broken glass and love lost that made for an electric and emotional show.
In following Melodrama’s theme of a break-up and going to a party to forget your ex-lover, Lorde’s show felt like one giant house party. The first half consisted of songs from her latest record, in particular the early “party” songs like the thumping “Sober” and “The Louvre” where Lorde demands a broadcast of booms and to “make ‘em all dance to it.”
As the show progressed we were given more of the despair filled songs from Melodrama, including “Liability,” where Lorde sings about feeling burdensome to those close to her and “Hard Feelings” where she reluctantly lets go of her lover.
During this part of her set it became evident how Lorde has grown as a performer; where she dressed in dark clothes and makeup and radiated too-cool-for-school vibes during her Pure Heroine tour days, she now performs with warmth, color and is not afraid to let us see emotions get the best of her. It’s moments like hearing her voice break slightly during “Writer in the Dark” that reminds us she’s had her heart broken just like the rest of us, making her relateable on a human level.
Other standout moments from the night include the set design, which saw a glass box rise from the ground and lift dancers into the air. Or when she half-jokingly ordered a whiskey from the stage and a bartender actually brought her one.
But truly the highlight of the show was the regular set-list closer “Green Light.” Just before she broke out into the song, Lorde had some conditions for the audience: this song’s special and she would give us her all if we gave her our all. What followed was an electric, stirring experience that connected us all as everyone sang at the top of their lungs and jumped as high as possible, concluding with an explosion of star-shaped confetti.
Melodrama at its most basic level is about a break-up and a house party, but more than that, Lorde said, it’s about kinetic energy and bodies crashing together; if ever there were a manifestation of what she was describing, it was that moment when we all lost our selves to the sound of Lorde shouting “I’m waiting for it/That green light/I want it!”
To read more about Lorde, check out her website here.