On the back of her massively successful sophomore album, Melodrama, it should come as no surprise that young fans were lining up for Lorde’s Brisbane Riverstage show on Thursday night as long as twelve hours beforehand to ensure they were front and centre for what would be a stunning show of hit after glorious pop hit.
Among many of the night’s highlights were the giant neon stage sets (cue the astronaut), Lorde’s touching tribute to Brisbane legends, Powderfinger, with a cover of My Happiness, “I was raised on Powderfinger,” she said, “That’s my shit,” and her short, playful encore of Loveless.
Providing a sure sign of what was to come, Sydney’s electro-pop singer George Maple opened the evening in a barrage of smoke, red lights and killer dance combos. Holding the massive riverside stage solo is a big ask, so Maple could have benefited from more support in the form of a DJ, live band or dancers, however nonetheless built excitement and anticipation for the star of the night, Lorde.
The Brisbane River a sparkling backdrop, the show kicked off with a video reel of news snippets, home footage and Lorde’s voiceover before the New Zealander smashed right out of the gates with Homemade Dynamite, Magnets, Pure Heroine’s Tennis Courts and some friendly banter about her curiosity of the Corn on the Cob food stand.
Divided into three forty minute sets with incredible lighting, effective video interludes, theming and costume changes, Lorde executed a thoughtful, well paced show that had fans enthralled from start to finish. The most memorable moments came from the quieter songs like Liability and her acclaimed mashup of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire and 400 Lux when you could hear how whole-heartedly the packed amphitheatre sang along.
It was in this middle set that Lorde, who turned 21 just weeks ago, slowed things down to get personal, “So, who are you dating Brisbane?” she asked, and then spoke of love, growing out of pantsuits (for the most part) and how “writing a second album is really scary.”
Empathising with a weeping 14 year-old, Charlotte, in the front row, donning a flower wreath from the crowd, standing on the barricades to reach her adoring fans and flying the Aussie flag, Lorde ramped the music up for the third set to close out on a high with a collection of the biggest hits including Supercut, Royals, Perfect Places and Green Light.
The music purists out there would enjoy seeing less backing tracks/samples and more live instrumentation and vocals, however that certainly did not stop Brisbane from singing, crying and dancing their hearts out with Lorde, a young lady who is undoubtedly one of this generation’s greatest talents and role models.
Photos by Dan Maynard