Lorde - Melodrama North American Dance Review

“If you’re debating whether or not I can murder a stage...come see it for urself!” New Zealand singer Lorde tweeted in January of this year. After losing Album of the Year at this year's Grammy’s to Bruno Mars, and being the only Album of The Year nominee not asked to perform at the awards, The Melodrama Tour became even more of an opportunity for Lorde to prove why she deserves the critical acclaim she has received. On Tuesday, March 27th at Allstate Arena Lorde put on a show full of laughs, tears, joy, excitement, and most importantly, expression and individuality.

Immediately from the opening sounds of “Sober” the audience was thrown into Lorde’s neon-colored, rhythm-filled world. With Melodrama only being Lorde’s second album, the setlist was able to highlight songs from both of her albums. From old favorites such as “Tennis Court”, “Royals”, and “400 Lux” to newer sounds such as “Homemade Dynamite”, “Perfect Places”, and “Supercut” the audience got a great look into Lorde’s past and present. Although there is definitely growth shown with Lorde’s newer works, hearing her older works within the same set shows that some of the emotions felt on the first album are still there.

With this concert taking place near Kanye West’s hometown of Chicago, Lorde used the night as an opportunity give a few nods to the rapper. After joking with fans that it must be nice to come from the same place as Kanye West, the singer performed an acapella version of West’s “Love Lockdown”. The cover was both haunting and beautiful in a way that is signature Lorde. Also present was a verse from West’s hit “Runaway” which she incorporated into her ballad “Liability”.  

Just like her music, Lorde’s show used a “less is more” approach. The show used minimal props and kept the focus on Lorde herself. Certain songs were also aided visually with dancers, and occasionally members of her backing band were highlighted. However, there was no real predictable pattern to know what would happen when, and what would even be on the stage. This gave the show a certain level of contrast, which helped the big and bold moments feel bigger, and the small moments feel more intimate. In fact, many songs had Lorde on stage alone, with no props, dancers, or instruments. Dancing was a huge part of the night, and Lorde’s style of dancing had a way of bringing out the emotions talked about in the songs even more. It almost felt as if a ballet recital met a pop concert, and it worked incredibly. A very cool moment happened during “The Lourve” when Lorde was raised in the air laying flat by her dancers, and continued to sing while being carried around the stage. She was able to demand the crowd's attention, never letting a moment feel empty. With elegant costumes, very expressive dancing and some seriously impressive light shows, this show was definitely brought to life Lorde’s signature and one of a kind style.

One major highlight of the night was the last song before the encores, “Green Light”. Before starting the song, Lorde talked about how the song covered a variety of emotions, from joy. to jealousy, to even anger. This made the song feel even more powerful live and gave the singer an opportunity to connect and feel her emotions. She encouraged fans to channel all of those emotions into dancing, which sent the entire arena into a jumping frenzy. It was an incredible sight to see the entire crowd from front to back dancing, and really showed the singers ability to demand a crowd.  

Lorde not only proved that she can murder a stage, but also that she is truly a one of a kind artist. It’s impressive to see so much artistry and expression from someone so young, and it will definitely be exciting to see where Lorde takes her performances next.

By Matty Jiles

Matty Jiles