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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 16, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 11
THE MUSIC LOUNGE
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
My Lorde, what a great show! New Zealander makes triumphant arena debut with opening act Tove Styrke

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

LORDE
W/TOVE STYRKE
KEY ARENA
March 9


When Lorde performed in Seattle back in March 2014, she packed every seat at WaMu Theater. Three years later, she drew a near sell-out audience to Key Arena, the first arena tour of her short and successful career.





The New Zealand-bred singer-songwriter, who turned 21 in November, has kept a low profile the past couple of years, leaving fans guessing about her next move. Thankfully for them, Lorde returned with a new album, 2017's Melodrama, and one of last year's best alternative rock tracks, 'Green Light.'

She began her set promptly at 8:45pm with 'Sober' from the new album, which earned Lorde a recent Grammy nomination for Album of the Year; she won two awards in 2014. She didn't appear to the audience until the second verse, climbing down from a raised podium on the stage.

This was a different Lorde. An older, definitely more confident and less shy Lorde than we saw at WaMu, where she came across as a bashful, goth-like teenager with a layered wardrobe who was just starting out; and she was. This time, she was perky, talkative, very confident and strutted on stage wearing a sparkly, flower-patterned outfit that covered her breast, but not much else.

'It is one of our favorite places to come to in America!' shouted Lorde about Seattle to the crowd, flecked by young gay men in attendance, two of which were seated in the front row, dressed in matching metallic outfits with crowns, a toast to the artist's best known hit, 'Royals.' 'This is the cool side of the country,' she added.

'Tennis Court' was performed beautifully by Lorde standing just off to the center of the stage with one of four backup dancers moving elegantly behind her.

'This is a good vibe from you,' she told concertgoers in between songs. 'We love it here. We've been here a few times.' She told everyone that on her last Seattle visit she went to a glassblowing class and got to make something to keep as a souvenir.

'This is a really old song,' Lorde said before lunging into a terrific delivery of 'Buzzcut Season.' While singing 'Hard Feelings,' she looked out to a venue illuminated by cell phones.

For a costume change, Lorde simply used a shadowed stage prop as a dressing room to slip into a long, sheer white skirt with splashes of gray and light brown with a matching bralet.

'Yellow Flicker Beat,' from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, was a highlight of the show with Lorde performing it front and center and a solo member of her dance troupe moving around in a high elevated glass box suspended above the stage that tilted from side to side throughout the number.

Having spent time alone back in New Zealand, sometimes just riding the subway by herself, Lorde became attached to the song 'Solo' by Frank Ocean and at Key Arena she performed a touching rendition of it.

'I basically like songs about being alone,' she told fans.

She was teary-eyed at the end of 'Liability,' looking around the arena. 'This is so fucking unreal to me,' she stated, surprised at the strong turnout for the concert.

Another costume change happened just before Lorde did 'Supercut.' She switched to an apple-red jumpsuit with thin black belt, dancing wildly to the song on stage.

'You gonna sing this one with me, Seattle?' she asked at the start of 'Royals,' and a big sing-along followed. The main set drew to a close with 'Green Light,' as the stage was entirely bathed in bright green lighting.

For an encore, Lorde tinkered with a beat machine on stage for energetic versions of 'Loveless' and 'Precious Metals.' The show concluded with 'Team' and everyone again singing along.

This was one of the most memorable performances I've attended in recent years. It was electrifying and dramatic, captivating and cool, and the kind of show you just wanted to watch all over again from start to finish. If there was any doubt Lorde would go away after one album, I can tell you first-hand that she's going to be around for a while.

Opening for Lorde was pop-electro rising star Tove Styrke, who was quite impressive during a brief set that lasted all but 25 minutes.

At the top of Styrke's set list was 'Borderline,' and no it wasn't a cover of the Madonna gem, it was the slick original title track of Stryke's 2014 EP. Wearing high-waisted lime-colored baggy pants that appeared to be made from mesh, or tissue, and a white tee-shirt with bobbed blonde hair, Styrke was fascinating to watch in person, as her spunky attitude and fly dance moves - sometimes it looked like she was kickboxing - were fun to watch.

'Hello, Seattle,' said the young Swede. 'Long time, no see.'

She managed to squeeze in about six songs into her performance, including 'Mistakes' and a praise-worthy cover of Lorde's 'Liability.' During 'Change My Mind,' Stryrke got almost the entire arena, which was about two-thirds full already, to sway their hands in the air; she seemed to have the audience's full attention.

Styrke wrapped up her set with her current hit single 'Say My Name,' displaying more entertaining dance moves in between the verses. She made her exit, but certainly left us thinking about her and searching for her on Google; she's one to keep your eye on. Styrke kindly met fans and signed autographs after her appearance at the merchandise booth.

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