A Royal Return
by Jennifer Suryadjaja
photography courtesy of Jennifer Suryadjaja
Twenty-one-year-old New Zealander Lorde returned to Boston once more on April 3 as part of her Melodrama World Tour. The songstress, lesser-known as Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, rocked the TD Garden with her quirky dance moves and recognizable top hits.
Prior to Lorde, indie-rock singer Mitski was the first to get on the stage as one of Lorde’s opening acts. Mitski’s melodic voice filled the arena for about 45 minutes before hip-hop duo Run The Jewels decked out their DJ set and put on a performance. Both opening acts certainly offered came from different music genres, but it did not stop the crowd from jamming to their songs.
By the time Run The Jewels performed their last song, the arena was packed. There were people in every inch of the sections, all murmuring and anticipating Lorde to take the stage.
Backup dancers thronged across the stage as the lights dimmed, kicking off the concert. Their languid bodies moved to the beat of “Sober.” The crowd went wild as Lorde walked to the middle of the stage. Blue light illuminated the stage, creating a mysterious effect on her and her dancers.
“Boston, welcome to the Melodrama World Tour,” Lorde called out after she sung her first song of the tour.
Recalling her previous performance in the 2014 Boston Calling festival, Lorde humbly said, “Oh, it’s so good to be back.”
She did not skip a beat and sang “Homemade Dynamite” right after. The newer version of this song is a remix with co-singers Khalid, Post Malone, and SZA, but Lorde performed the original version, which sounds as dreamy as her original track.
“Tonight, we’re gonna dance,” Lorde said as she took it back to her first album “Pure Heroine” and sang “Tennis Court.” The crowd bopped along to the familiar lyrics.
“Magnets” followed. Though she initially recorded the song with electronic English duo Disclosure, she managed to kill it as a solo.
Her confidence and charisma were undeniable as she continued and performed “Buzzcut Season.”
“This one is for the kids who grew up in the suburbs,” Lorde said before singing her new version of “Ribs.” While she sang the bridge, she stripped off her all-white crop top and flared pants, changing into a magenta-flowery dress inside a transparent box on stage.
Her dancers carried her around the stage as she delivered “The Louvre” before slowing things down with “Hard Feelings.”
“Yellow Flicker Beat” quickly followed. She recorded this song for the Hunger Games Mockingjay (Part 1) trilogy.
Sitting down on the raised platform on the stage, Lorde began confessing that there were times when she doubted herself.
“This song is me looking me in the eye, saying this is who I am,” Lorde said about “Writer In The Dark.” “It’s about realizing you just have to take me for who I am, ’cause when I’m great, I’m so fucking great.”
“Writer In The Dark” was easily the most emotional moment of the night. Tears streamed down the audience’s faces as they turned on their flashlight to create a melancholic moment.
Lorde then sang a stripped-down cover of Frank Ocean’s “Solo.”
“It’s a genre I enjoy singing about,” Lorde said about songs of being alone and followed with the more somber, “Liability” and “Sober II (Melodrama).”
“Supercut” turned the energy back up, as she performed it while jumping frantically and running across the stage. “In my head, I do everything right,” she sang gracefully as the song faded out.
And, of course, she brought everyone back to 2013 with the unforgettable “Royals.”
“Perfect Places” elevated everyone’s moods, picking up right where “Royals” left off. The pumped-up pop star did not once stop smiling when she performed her slew of upbeat songs.
The closer was “Green Light” and like the entire concert, she gave it her all.
Despite waving to the audience and leaving the stage, the crowd did not stop cheering for more, begging for an encore.
Lorde honored the request, walking back on stage to perform “Loveless,” the unreleased “Precious Metals” and the radio-hit “Team.”