There’s an awkward kind of restlessness amongst the Lorde crowd at Ally Pally tonight. Everyone’s excited, but no-one really wants to show it. It’s a whole different story when the lights go down though – within seconds everyone’s dancing feverishly to ‘Magnets’, Yelich-O’Connor’s 2015 hit collaboration with Disclosure. ‘Tennis Court’ follows and with it all inhibitions are soon forgotten, which is exactly what Lorde wants. “All of us in this room is alchemy,” she says, and from that point on, we all know we’re in this together. Throughout the show Lorde emphasises our commonality, and it’s undeniable that the combination of us and her in this room will turn the evening into gold.
The fact is, every single person was there because they’ve felt the same things she has – something in her music has resonated with them, and it’s this connection that Lorde is drawing out of us tonight, getting us to truly revel in our emotions, to be uninhibited and unafraid to just let go. After all, that is what Melodrama, her second studio album, is all about. This really shines through in ‘Liability’, which exudes a quiet strength through Lorde’s swelling vocals. Things don’t stay too sad for long though, as ‘A World Alone’ kicks into its chorus, with a beat that gets us dancing again.
The show is full of contrasts like this, sharp transposed against smooth in both music and dance. The elegant strings, swirling dresses and graceful movements of the backing dancers will dizzy you into a spell, but then Lorde brings you up short with a jarring beat, her signature jerky dance moves or a line that stops you in your tracks and sits heavy on your chest. The final song, ‘Green Light’ is a rapturous explosion, with arms flying everywhere as confetti cannons burst, immersing the crowd with paper stars. Despite how initially reserved the crowd may have been before arriving tonight, Lorde made sure we were all leaving happier, lighter and freer.
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