Lorde at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Lorde drops the sophistication of her debut record in favour of a more visceral attitude, driven by the groove of her own music. “It fucking feels good to be back,” she tells her crowd of 2,000, whose age range spans five decades – from 12 to 60 (parents excluded).
Singing is secondary to the performance during these very first minutes – at 17 it’s hard to do both perfectly. The stage is simple; band members stand at the very back. There are three huge antique-looking frames hung on red curtains and a giant chandelier. The singer opens with Glory and Gore and right away we all feel we are witnessing the birth of an icon. She looks different, she acts differently and she conveys a genuinely good message.
Tennis Court is the first real thrill of the night and we hear a timid singalong from the crowd. Song by song the artist gains confidence, her spellbound moves a protective shell which she removes as she owns both the stage and the audience. “I still can’t believe it: it’s Shepherd’s Bush,” says Lorde before launching into The Replacements’ cover of Swingin’ Party. That’s when we hear her full, deep voice for the first time, now in the absence of cumbersome pre-recorded backing tracks. That’s when we really get goosebumps. And the sensation is amplified with the intensity of Still Sane.
The concert has now gained that “wow” status, everyone captivated by the voice of the 17-year-old wonder from New Zealand. What better song than 400 Lux to keep the bliss going? “This is an old one,” says Lorde to introduce Bravado – it’s hardly “old” in relative terms, but still it features more raw elements than her album tracks.
It’s hits-time with Royals, the artist’s Grammy award-winning song (yes, at 17, a Grammy) and the club-friendly –and very poppy – Team. The latter is the highlight of the night: the performer sings and moves perfectly. The music scene will soon see a new queen, and there’s a lot more to her than catchy pop.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Laura Denti
For further information about Lorde and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Team here: