At the Greek Theatre during an amazing lunar eclipse, Lorde performed her second show in Los Angeles while on her tour for her debut album Pure Heroine. Ella Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter, whose dedication to purple lipstick and anything black scared me, at first. But over the last couple months, I’ve listened to her album and hit singles continually and do not intend to stop. Ever. Her music is indietronica meets dream-pop meets awesome. She has a soothing, raspy, deep voice with a subtle New Zealander accent.
The main reason I like Lorde’s music is because of the familiarity of it but also the uncharted strange new sound that comes with the thoughts of a seventeen year old famous prodigy who seems to know the secrets of the world. The consistent bell-sounds are relaxing and the sporadic beat-drops keep me interested. Her music is so powerful because of the beat. Sometimes it’s really strong and sometimes there is no beat at all. And even though she has a constant sound theme throughout the album, each song is different and has a new beat, unlike many hit albums today.
Another impressing element that Pure Heroine possesses is the eloquent and sapien lyrics. I admit the first couple times I heard her music, I didn’t really know what her songs meant. She has a big vocabulary and is not afraid to express metaphors in her lyrics. Not to mention the accent. But it was when I started to really listen and analyze what she was singing about was when my true respect for her blossomed.
Seeing Lorde in concert versus listening to her in the car on the way to Starbucks is different in many ways. But one way in which there is no difference is the accessibility and quality in her music. When you’ve got your headphones on and the outside world is quiet, it’s a pretty special and intimate thing, music is a special and intimate thing, and the music you choose to listen to when you’re alone can be a special or intimate thing. But sometimes when you’re at a concert or listening to music out loud with your friends or family, it’s less private and definitely not the same experience. Lorde’s music and sound at the Greek was twinkling. Her voice and band sounded almost the exact same as it did on the record, and even with all the people around me, I still felt like she was singing only to me.
Lorde’s on-stage persona can best be described as erotic. One moment she’s leaning over with her hair upside-down and being quiet as the band plays. And the next, she’s jumping up and down and dancing crazily as she sings or embraces the beat dropping. She does her own thing on stage, and some people criticize her, or are even scared of her because of her daring costumes and unique sense of movement, but that’s my favorite thing about Lorde, she’s an individual, outspoken and one hundred percent herself while performing.
Something that I was completely surprised by was the multitude of adults there, probably from the age of twenty-one to around seventy-five. Nearly everyone, it seemed, was smoking. It makes sense that she has a large old-people following, her music isn’t the lightest nor the most comprehensible, which young adult popular music seems to have a continuous lack of, but still, I think it would be weird playing for a whole bunch of middle-aged people when you’re hardly a legal adult. Think of yourself performing music which is all about experiences you’ve had as a young adult and then singing it to a bunch of people who are twenty years older than you. Gives me shivers.
I’ve never seen Lorde play live, been to the Greek Theatre, seen fog bubbles, or inhaled as much second-hand smoke as I did that night. So I think it’s just the way Lorde presented herself that made me feel so comfortable. She was casual yet intriguing and even though I wasn’t even anywhere close to the front row, I had butterflies at the thought that I would be seeing Lorde perform. The butterflies did not last long. By the end of the concert, Lorde and I were– at least in my mind–basically besties.
Something really exciting that happened at the concert, giving it a thrill that you couldn’t get from her record, was that she played a new song, one she had only performed live “a handful of times”. The song is called “Yellow Flicker Beat” and it is available on the iTunes Store. The name of the song explains pretty well my experience of her performing it. The light show was incredible. The stage wasn’t really that big, she only had a few sets, and Lorde didn’t have a lot of back up dancers or that many costume changes, but she sure did know how to put on an amazing light show and dance to her own beat.
I think what I really took away from this experience was a new role model and an old reminder to be exactly who you are and not to be orthodox for anyone or anything if it means not being true to yourself. I like dancing to my own beat.