The 17-year-old indie pop singer/songwriter, better known by her stage name Lorde, filled up the BMO Harris Pavilion on Milwaukee’s lakefront and played to a near sold out crowd Friday night. After the likes of Vampire Weekend and Journey played the same stage this summer, Pabst Theater group figured Lorde would have no problem selling out the larger venue and putting on an astounding show.
Canadian opener two-man duo Majical Cloudz had very little to say and do on stage. Their half-hour set opened with the lead Devon Welsh introducing the duo in a less than enthusiastic voice and then continued on with their set. Each song had essentially the same piano or synth chord progression done by Matthew Otto with a very reserved voice of Welsh to go along. Overall, their songs were very subdued and somber, which seemed uncharacteristic of Lorde to have open for one of her first North American tours.
When the tour was originally announced before the summer, Lorde wanted to make sure everyone knew in a Facebook post that it was going to be different than anything she had done before and she definitely held true to her words. Opening up with the echo-y and bass-heavy “Glory and Gore,” she never stopped her erratic mosh-like dancing while singing each song with her purple-colored jumpsuit blowing around. The first half of the set featured Pure Heroine favorites such as “White Teeth Teens”, “Tennis Court” and “Buzzcut Season” all while her seizure-inducing light show was happening in the background complete with three video panels displaying pictures and videos to compliment each song.
The mid-set section called for some bubble and confetti cannons and an electrifying short cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” after she made an outfit change into a large white cloak that she eventually took off to reveal another simple white jumpsuit similar to the purple one. Throughout the middle of her set, she kept telling everyone in the audience how nice and polite they were by saying things like, “You look nice. I’m into it.” One of her in-between song monologues had her saying to the Milwaukee crowd, “I’ve read about you in books, but I didn’t think I’d ever be here.” She got a few laughs at this remark and continued on. Later on, she included a cover of Wisconsin native band Bon Iver’s “Heavenly Father” into the set.
Before “Ribs,” the show took a turn for the serious for a short time, as she spoke to the youth in the crowd saying that the next song was about her growing up and becoming an adult in a small town and then venturing off into the world beyond her dull town in New Zealand. She also asked the crowd to accompany her and raise a light source into the air. Immediately after, it was time for another quick change into a red flowing cape and jumpsuit complete with a gold crown on her head. An ornate chandelier and marquee that read, “Tonight: The Tragic and Wonderful Triumphal Procession of Lorde” emerged above her and she closed out the night with “Royals”, “Team” and “A World Alone.”
Her almost 90-minute set surprisingly didn’t include an encore, but the audience still left the Pavilion beaming having known that she lived up to her promise of a different experience that, as Lorde said previously, was going to be “worlds away.”
That it was, Lorde. That it was.
- Glory and Gore
- White Teeth Teens
- Tennis Court
- Buzzcut Season
- No Better
- 400 Lux
- Flashing Lights (Kanye West cover)
- Biting Down
- Heavenly Father (Bon Iver cover)
- Still Sane
- A World Alone