Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Lorde shows plenty of poise in a lively show at Echostage

Concert review: Lorde shows plenty of poise in a lively show at Echostage

By Chris Richards,


Today’s biggest pop songs inhabit tiny spaces. They trickle from earbuds. They flicker in YouTube windows. So hearing one in a cavernous concert hall — where the bass is shaking the air and bodies are pushing around in the darkness — can feel like a liberation.


Like when New Zealand teen phenom Lorde finally sang “Royals” near the close of her gig Friday night at Echo¬stage, an airplane hanger of a nightclub off Bladensburg Road NE. In the past year, her career-making hit had navigated the improbable route from YouTube curiosity, to the winner’s circle at January’s Grammy Awards, to here.


“We crave a different kind of buzz,” she sang during the refrain, bathed in purple light, whipping her hair and hands around in quick bursts, clearly not feeling the weight of the generation she has been asked to carry on her shoulders.

Her real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor and she won’t turn 18 until November, but her debut, “Pure Heroine,” has been championed as a pop album wise beyond its years. As her young fans sent “Royals” up the charts, the rest of the world seemed to freak over the singer’s precociousness.

And then they gave up and sang along. Because isn’t everyone’s adolescence a tangle of wild curiosity, vivid emotions and ferocious opinions?

The only thing that makes Lorde different from anyone else her age is her ability to straighten those knotted feelings into articulate, evocative, radio-colonizing pop hits. Her lyric sheet is filled with common teenage concerns: the body, the future, mobility, boredom, isolation, ambition, dreams. She also knows how to make her verses shimmer with a gothy and strangely inviting glamour.

Isolation and ambition frequently went hand-in-hand at Echostage on Friday, especially during “Tennis Court,” a song about the loneliness and claustrophobia of an adolescence spent “never not chasing the million things I want.” It was the first big singalong of the night and one of the liveliest moments in a surprisingly propulsive 14-song set.

Even when things slowed, she refused to forfeit her poise. “I’m little, but I’m coming for the crown,” she sang over the vaporous synthesizers of “Still Sane,” her torchy mumble elegantly framed by keyboardist Jimmy Mac and drummer Ben Barter. The backing duo’s minimal setup was highly efficient and not dissimilar to that of James Blake, the experimental R&B singer to whom Lorde has pledged her fandom.

The girl has smart taste.

Based on the T-shirt she recently wore on the cover of Rolling Stone, she’s a fan of American rock weirdos the Cramps.

In another interview, she tipped her hat to Washington punk icons Fugazi. And while she didn’t cover “Waiting Room” on Friday night, she did transpose the breezy jangles of the Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party” into a church hymn.
On YouTube, it’s Lorde’s songs that are being covered by fans around the world — including Bruce Springsteen, who, at a recent concert in New Zealand, sang “Royals” as a sequence of everyman grunts.

She didn’t mention the Boss’s cover onstage, though. Instead, she basked in that different kind of buzz as it blasted across a very big room.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Stolen Island: Searching for ‘Ata by Scott Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news