Lorde – Palladium, Colone; October 14th, 2017
Third day of experimental concert going in a row, Lorde this time. I had heard of her before, but never paid attention until Amanda Palmer wrote a blog post titled “Oh Lorde, deliver me from fucking Joan“. The post is about many things and well worth reading, but the important point here is that it made me curious about Lorde. Thus, I checked out her music, liked it and bought a ticket. Mind you, at that point my October schedule was pretty much empty. 😉 That changed, but I stuck to my plan. It was a good decision too. Lorde delivered a beautiful and deeply emotional show that I would not have wanted to miss.
After a good night’s sleep the world looked a little brighter than the previous day. Spent a lazy morning, had lunch and was ready to leave around two, aiming for the 14:45 train. With the ongoing construction at the tracks the train would not get me there much before five, but I really could not bring myself to leave an hour earlier. A decision I soon came to regret. From the moment the train left Dortmund everything went wrong and I barely made it to the venue before the doors opened. The line was insane, at least 1000 people long. When the doors opened, I went with the flow and was lucky enough to find the upstairs balcony almost empty while the floor was already one third filled. So upstairs it was with a nice view of the stage from the side.
I sat down while I waited, getting up eventually and watching the crowd downdtairs moving towards the stage in waves as people got up. It was packed and it must have been hot because many used their tickets as fans. At the very front staff was giving out water and I wondered how long some of these people had been in line.
Support act Khalid started at 8 on the dot and I immediately liked him. I had not heard of him before and judging by his track suit attire I though it miht have been Rap or Hip Hop he would sing. What do I know? The green track suit only reminded me of Robbie William’s ‘Rudeboy’. I could not have been further from the truth. His music was actually really nice Pop, the kind tunes that I’d be able to sing along to after a few listens. This is a good Thing, it was all very catchy and made me want to move along with the Music. From what I gathered the songs had good lyrics too. It was fun to watch him and his band. Khalid had some great dance moves going and the crowd loved it. Many sang along, some even had the right moves down so I guessed that this was not their first show. It was a good start and just the right lengh too. 🙂
Another sad Love Song
Young Dumb & Broke
When the lights went back on I saw that the floor was now filled all the way to the end while before the last quarter was still empty. More sitting and waiting and hoping it would not take until 9:30 for Lorde to start. It didn’t. Right at 9:15 the lights went down and the cheers went up. This was going to be a good one!
The show started on the TV screen to the right with changing images as if someone was switching channels. Every time Lorde’s face was visibleon the screen the cheers rose. Finally she appeared in the spotlight, wearing a long black dress and a hat that was gone before the song was over. I don’t know any of her songs, but what I heard sounded good and soon I was moving along. She danced across the stage, first alone, later often accompanied by two dancers. The three piece band stayed in the background, providing the basis for her amazing voice with two keyboards and drums as well as samples.
At first I thought the music might be a little bit too eletronic for me, but it wasn’t like that at all. In fact I find it hard to stick a label on this other than the very broad “Pop” that could mean anything. Who cares? I loved it, loved Lorde’s voice, loved the music, loved the lyrics and loved how she interacted with the audience.
In the beginning she asked us if we were going to dance with her, because “this as a dancing kind of show” and by the end she had most of us jumping along. In between she moved across stage like a whirlwind or jumped wildly, all the while singing and never missing a note. With the way the show started I expected it was going to be one big party and I was fine with that. I did not count on the quiet moments, the somber mood, the times I was moved to tears. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was, but something about Lorde’s delivery hit me hard. It was passionate, it was hearfelt and most of all it was honest. The combination of these factors did not leave me cold. She is young enough to be my daughter and I though might enjoy her singing, but would probably not be able to relate. How wrong I was…
From start the audience was singing along to every song, clapping, moving with the music, but whenever Lorde talked they listened quietly, then responded with cheers or telling her they loved her. I loved her interactions with the fans, because despite the crowded venue it felt as if she had invited all of us to her living room for a chat. She told us how happy she was about touring Europe and how she liked that after years of interaction on Twitter or Tumblr she finally got to hang out with us. In those moment it felt exactly like hanging out with a friend on a Saturday night, sharing stories. She talked about the aspects of tour life you never know like getting hair in your mouth on stage or trying to find a nice shower, explaining how it often feels like showering after gym at high school. In sharing this, she got rid of any super star hype that people might have wanted to built up around her and became the girl next door, giving her fans the feeling she was one of them. 🙂
Apart from wanting to hang out we had all come to hear her sing and she did it beautifully, her clear voice ringing out across the room, from powerful to soft and always carrying so many emotions. She made me smile a lot that night and she made me cry too, sometimes during the same song. Everything she sang about became touchable, all the feelings were there in the room to be felt. This applied to her own songs as well as to the cover version. When she sang The 1975’s ‘Somebody else’ she made I her own and not only that, but she made me feel every line as if the hurt was mine.
She had started the show on her own, but after a few songs she was joined by two dancers, who moved around her. I enjoyed watching their fluent movements and I liked how nothing in this show was overstated. There was minimal stage decoration in florescent light, namely an astronaut, flowers and a shooting star, changed after each intermission just as Lorde changed clothes. She did it twice during the show which gave it a general frame, but did not turn it into a constant blur of costumes. The focus was always on the music. Whichever song Lorde sang and whatever she did, she never seemed detached. She smiled, she giggled, she shared good moments with us and always made sure to relate to her audience. She sat down and chatted and at the end she even left the stage to grab people’s hands. 🙂
With the intermissions came different images on the TV screen and her voice telling stories, connecting the three parts of the show. I remember the first intermission ended on asking “Do we make love or do we destroy it?” followed by “that summer I wanted to find out”. I wanted to know more to the story then and I am sure much of it is hidden in the lyrics that I did not always fully understand, but that spoke of many different emotions. My favorite song of the night was ‘Liability’. It hit me right in the heart, those feelings being all too familiar to me.
The second intermission contained part of a fairy tale and ended with good advice “Listen to the fairy-tales, dance, until you cannot see. I promise it will change you, cause when the sky gets dark, that’s when we are reborn. It fit in perfectly with the rest of the concert and everything else she said, always bringing across how important it is to live and especially enjoy your life. I second that. Doing the things you love makes you feel so much better. Everyone agreed and when she asked us to sing along, people did. Not knowing the lyrics, I could not do that, but I sure jumped along with her when she did. 😀
She connected with her fans by talking about the history they have together, how some of them started to listen to her CDs at a very young age and how young she was when she wrote some of her songs. She told us how she often is around much older people who can’t really understand how turning 21 is going to be a big deal. “But you understand, right?” I am sure many did and a few might have remembered. At that point in time I wished I had had someone like her to look up too. There were too few women in pop music for my liking when I was young or at least not many I liked and could relate to. There are still not enough today, but it makes me happy to have someone like Lorde in the mix. 🙂
It was a beautiful, emotional, fun evening that I never wanted to end. When showers of star shaped confetti fell down on us during ‘Green Light’ I knew it would though. We cheered and she came out one more time for an encore, playing ‘Loveless’. Then it was goodbye and a promise to be back. I certainly hope though, I would love to see her again. Thank you Lorde, for making me feel. I leave you much impressed and I vow to return as soon as possible.
Magnets (Disclosure cover)
Intermission (video interlude)
A World alone
Somebody else (The 1975 cover)
Intermission (video interlude)