Hanna Da’Mes, Staff Writer |
On Wednesday, April 4, Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, 21, stage name “Lorde,” came to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY to perform her newest album. “Melodrama” was released on June 16, 2017 after a four year gap between her debut album release of “Pure Heroine” in 2013.
At 7:00 p.m. indie singer/songwriter from SUNY Purchase, who goes by her first name Mitski, appeared on stage as the first opener, followed by Run the Jewels—a conjoined effort of El-P and rapper Killer Mike. The Barclays Center began filling up as Run the Jewels played, and by the time they finished, the seats were all full, and excitement was almost tangible in anticipation of the main show.
At 8:45 p.m. Lorde came onto the stage in a two-piece black flowing ensemble and a humble enthusiasm. The whole audience immediately stood up and cheered, the last time anyone touched the seat of their chairs.
During her song “Team,” Lorde jumped off the stage and sang on the floor, dancing, laughing, and even hugging audience members. It was endearing to watch a big name popstar get on the level of her fans, as this reminded concert-goers that she is the same as any other person. She went through a mixture of songs from both albums, the whole audience singing and dancing along with her. A huge component of the show was the dance ensemble. Each song was accompanied by a dance number, whether it be a group, duet, or solo. At some points, the dancers were lifted up and suspended above Lorde in a fluorescent rectangular structure that tilted from side to side in a dramatic representation of the tumultuous nature of life.
A surprise was waiting in the wings: as Lorde took a break between songs to drink some water and thank Brooklyn for its support, Jack Antonoff, producer and co-writer of “Melodrama,” stepped onto the stage. They performed a cover of St. Vincent’s “New York,” as well as a medley of a couple of Lorde’s songs. Their friendship was heartwarming and fun—an intimate glimpse into the bond shared by two creative artists whose visions line up to create beautiful music.
Lorde prefaced the next song with another speech. She addressed the audience with a brimming excitement, her voice dropping low as if she were letting everyone in on a secret. The whole concert seemed to be leading up to this moment. “This is the most melodramatic song on the album,” she began. She gushed about the way humans feel deeply and passionately, the importance of feeling things to the fullest extent. “I’m going to give it all I got,” she said in regards to the upcoming song, asking, “Can you guys do the same?”
The audience cheered in support and devotion, and when the first chords to “Green Light” resounded through the space, the cheering grew even louder. The lights in the stadium turned to a rich, vivid green to match the lyrics, and spotlights swept the stage. The dynamic volume of the song was enhanced, lending itself to the intensity of emotion. After the bridge towards the end of the song, there was a moment of suspended sound in which everyone seemed to hold their breath. When the bass dropped into the chorus, green lights flared and confetti, little transparent stars with song lyrics, shot out in all directions, flying in a seemingly endless stream and getting caught in hair and bags. There was an almost euphoric childlike glee that spread across the room.
The show was, of course, a big spectacle, but that is to be expected in the Barclays Center, as it is such a grand space. The concert showcased its grandiosity with the intricate lighting design, complex dance routines, multiple costume changes, and the confetti during “Green Light,” and yet the concert also maintained a level of closeness. Lorde’s heartfelt speeches and sincere thank-you’s bridged the gap between performer and audience member. Even in a stadium of over a thousand people, Lorde managed to keep her concert intimate.