Lorde - Roseland Ballroom - 3/12/14

Categories: Last Night

Lordecropped560.jpg
Photos: Santiago Felipe
Dear Lorde,

Did you ever imagine you would have a hard time holding people's attention? I mean, you aren't exactly an average pop star, and that burst in popularity in the last year must have freaked you out some. Of course, it also proves that your appeal isn't only to outsiders, but to all kinds of people. Pure Heroine has seen great success since September, and you sold out the soon-to-be-shuttered Roseland Ballroom three nights in a row. (How cool is that?)

See also: LIVE REVIEW: Lorde at Webster Hall, 9/30/13

Though there were many fans in the audience for your final night in New York on Wednesday, there were also a lot of people who had, um, more important things on their minds. From what I could tell, audience members ranged in age from as young as three to at least 60. Some people are so old, it's hard to tell. One dedicated preteen wore a handmade neon T-shirt with your stage name written in Sharpie across the front. Others carried on casual conversations through most of your set. I wondered if it bothered you, but then I realized you probably couldn't hear them talking and talking and talking and not paying attention. It bothered me, though.

When you started the show with a solo performance of "Glory and Gore" wearing that eerie black outfit, under an intense white light that shot down from the ceiling, I was so excited I almost cried. Then a curtain dropped to reveal your backup band: two guys dressed in white; one at a drum set, the other at a keyboard/synthesizer. After the next song, you casually admitted in a raspy voice that you were feeling under the weather and took a sip of tea. If you hadn't said that, I wouldn't have known. You used loops of studio harmonies, but your haunting live vocals hit me hard, and I was standing all the way back in the front of the mezzanine.

The stage was set up pretty simply, but the lighting was elaborate, bright colors, strobe lights, flashing purple bars, a spinning disco ball thingie, and projections of videos and live shots of you and your band. The backgrounds added to the atmosphere, like the view from a car window driving through the suburbs during "400 Lux," one of my favorites.

A problem began after the show's halfway point, when you sang Son Lux's "Easy," with lots of creepy (fabulous!) dancing and not much singing. It was an opportunity for people's voices to fill the room instead of the music itself, and there were, like, three false starts at applause before the song actually ended.

The most intimate part of the show came soon after, when you explained the story behind "Ribs," which I think is your best song. You told the audience you find it "kind of weird" to talk about your songs, and then you did it anyway, which was brave. You told us about a party you threw while your parents were out of town. "Shit got broken," you said. "My best friend Zach and I crashed in the same bed. I was lying there for a long time not sleeping." He asked you what was wrong. You said you were scared of the adult world, and can you go back to being a kid. "That still scares me all the fucking time," you said. "It keeps me up all the time -- the things you gain and lose." You said you wrote the song on a Monday. Then you said that when you write songs you can see them in your head, and this one was a greenish blue. "It makes me indescribably happy to see 3,000 people here, many who are my age. You're here because you get it, and I'm so thankful," you said, like you were talking to me.



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13 comments
dzte
dzte

I could not agree more with Annabelllly. Although I have never been in person to LORDES concert I have seen way too many videos posted on YouTube where you can hear people talking in the background as if it was a bar lounge. Lorde tonight is going to perform at Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA  which is an extremely beautiful venue and I believe LORDE deserves. The Orpheum Theatre would be my choice to avoid the rudeness of the those things called human.  Thank you for this review, it brought tears to my eyes.

Chase McCord
Chase McCord

She sucked before the fans bought the tickets. So go listen to shit music nyc. You are really good at it

websurf90
websurf90

EXACTLY what I said about Tuesday night's crowd! It was incredibly annoying.

Charles Saunders
Charles Saunders

She probably isn't good as she has been hyped to be. Has that ever entered into the reviewers head? She sold out 3 nights? Big deal. The proof is in the pudding.

Rachel Beth
Rachel Beth

I hate when people talk through shows. Especially in small venues... disrespectful to the artist and people that are there and paid to see the artist. Always makes me think people get free tickets waaaaaay too much !

Jeff Feo Illescas
Jeff Feo Illescas

I did feel a bit uncomfortable last night, it really was a teeny bopper crowd, but the performance it's self was far from that. I will definitely see her again, hopefully she can attract more disgraceful Punks such as myself.

tommyboy56
tommyboy56

The best thing I read about the show. What a great review. You captured the mood of the crowd. Downright rude in my opinion. People all around me were talking through the entire performance. A group of teenage girls, five in total, three of which had their backs to Lorde were showing each other texts they were receiving and showing each other their Facebook status. I couldn't even believe it. I wanted to ask them why they bothered to come, but i held my tongue. Another group of frat boy types went there only to drink and casually ask one another why Lorde wears so much clothes. All of these people almost ruined the show for me but Lorde was just too good. Great lights, great movement on stage. She has a presence, you just have to be paying attention to appreciate it. So sad so many pay for a ticket and completely disrespect the performer who came out and did a great job while sick. I appreciate this 16 year old girl writing this. It gives me hope for the younger generation. I'm 46 years old and just wanted to enjoy some great music. My wife and I are both fans and were so excited for the show. What a disappointment in seeing how many in the audience behaved. Thank you for writing this piece. Beautifully written. Couldn't agree more.

Meghan Kathleen McCormick
Meghan Kathleen McCormick

Yes, 100%! I went to the show on Monday night and the crowd was ABSOLUTELY awful! People were chatting around me the whole time, there was an inordinate amount of creepy dudes with young girls (???), and all in all, a very ungrateful crowd. Lorde deserved much more respect and I'm so sad that multiple nights of her NYC tour had crowds like this.

Steve Bergkamp
Steve Bergkamp

It seems you have 16 year olds doing all of your reporting these days.

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