By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHEN?: Thursday 2 June 2022, tour runs to 18 March 2023
SETLIST: Leader Of A New Regime; Homemade Dynamite; Buzzcut Season; Stoned At The Nail Salon; Fallen Fruit; The Path; California; Ribs; Hard Feelings; Dominoes; Loveless; Liability; Secrets From A Girl; Mood Ring; Sober; Supercut; Perfect Places; Solar Power; Green Light; Oceanic Feeling; Helen Of Troy; Royals; Team
There is a moment during the piano-led ballad Liability when the music goes quiet three-quarters of the way through, a fan shouts ‘We love you’, Lorde looks genuinelly moved and the crowd responds with a crescendo of applause.
- Read on for reasons including how this gig was the best this reviewer has seen in a long, long time
These are the moments that make live music special, when artist and audience collide and occasionally something unexpected yet beautiful occurs.
We’ve written recently about how brilliant the recent ABBA Voyage experience was but in less scrupulous hands the technology could mean the end of live music in favour of a more cinematic and soulless experience.
This gig was the exact opposite of that. In fact it was the best gig this reviewer has seen in a long, long time and we’ve seen some absolute belters.
We’ve only seen Lorde live once, in 2017 at Glastonbury when she was quite simply the best act there. We’re going to Glastonbury this year but will miss her Sunday support set to Kendrick Lamar on the Pyramid Stage because the set times are out and instead we’ll likely be at Years and Years and Pet Shop Boys on the Other Stage.
Life can occasionally be weirdly circular and it was before that Glastonbury set in 2017 that Lorde played a video of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill. That song features in the new Stranger Things series and as a result is charting highly in both the UK and US at the moment.
At times tonight we could be watching Bush because she’s clearly a touchstone for Lorde whose set design is theatrical with a revolving stage, a giant staircase almost into this brilliant venue’s rafters where we are and a circle where she can be shown in silhouette.
Her backing band are dressed in beige, Lorde has multiple costume changes and engages the crowd in a way that makes you think she’s more comfortable in her own skin than when we last saw her live in 2017.
The set starts slowly with some of the more relaxed and meditative moments from that new album we are warming to and when Lorde starts to explain about the rush she feels in summer and the idea that when the thermometer starts to go up the notion of attraction to others can similarly rise, we start to understand Solar Power a little more.
She talks about loving London and occasionally feeling unworthy and ‘like a bag of trash’ and it’s hugely relatable to an audience willing her to be brilliant – which she is and then some.
It takes a while but the audience erupts towards the end of the show with a slew of more upbeat numbers. Supercut is electric, Perfect Places anthemic and Green Light is simply 1 of the biggest pop songs you will ever hear given a full-throated singalong here by 1,700 devoted fans at this run of sold-out gigs.
The penultimate song is the only Royals we need this Jubilee Weekend and we’re left feeling that Lorde will once again be 1 of the highlights of this year’s Glastonbury Festival should you be checking out the BBC coverage.