Seeing Lorde live is something that doesn’t come around often. When something appears you have to get in there quick because you don’t know when they would next visit the UK. The show at Shepherds Bush Empire was added due to popular demand due to the Brixton Academy gig selling out. What I liked about these tickets was the fact that if you booked more than one the original purchaser had to be there to show ID. I guess this was to stop touts from jumping on the presale and general sale and snapping up all the tickets. This was the 3rd time Ella had performed in the capital and I’m extremely fortunate to of been both at the Madame Jojo’s show and the support slot she did at the VEVO Halloween Party. Considering these dates were open to everyone (the previous 2 dates had been 18+) I assumed that there would be early queuers due to the intimacy of the venue, the fact it sold out and it would be quite a lot of peoples first ever Lorde show. I got there around 11am. Although I was the first one there I judged it perfectly as the next couple arrived one hour later (It is always best to be first because it pretty much guarantees the perfect spot for you inside). The fact that there was no O2 Priority Queue was a little strange as it is always out but it was also a massive relief.
Lorde is Ella Yelich-O’Connor and she is an exceptional singer with a debut album and a couple of EP’s under her belt. The set was just the 14 songs and this covered the whole Pure Heroine album, 2 featured on The Love Club EP, 1 from the Tennis Court EP plus there was also a brand new tune which was basically one which Ella featured on. Having seen Lorde last September it was only a couple of tunes I was witnessing for the first time. The evening kicked off around 9.10pm and it was Glory And Gore which served as the opener. I simply adored this as Glory And Gore was a chilled out synthpop ballad which was packed with a punch. Plus it was utterly infectious with lyrics that made you want to sing along “You could try and take us but we’re the gladiators/ Everyone a rager but secretly they’re saviours/ Glory and gore go hand in hand/ That’s why we’re making headlines/ You could try and take us but victory’s contagious”. Next was Biting Down and this featured on The Love Club EP. I found this to be slightly darker. This was delivered superbly but the song itself is not a favourite of mine and this is due to the fact that there isn’t anything that hooks you in.
“It is so fucking incredible to be back. Thank you so much for having us at Shepherds Bush only the coolest venue” Ella said before fan favourite Tennis Court. This was a contagious electro pop tune which had been perfectly written. The beats were infectious and on a whole everything about it was spectacular. I wonder if O’ Connor realised that the lyrics would turn out to be true when she wrote this “Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane/ I’ll see the veins of my city/ Like they do in space” because there is no doubt in my mind that Lorde can conquer the world.
White Teeth Teens followed on and this was both dream like and rather whimsical. At first Ella delivered it on her own then the beats came in. This track was both upbeat and energetic. It sent shivers up my spine.
“I think you’re the most respectful crowd. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing” O’ Connor then said. A respectful crowd is always a good thing especially when they are standing in awe watching one remarkable artist perform live. The song in question being Buzzcut Season which was extremely sweet and Lorde’s vocals were rather enchanting. This was an upbeat electropop number which easily got you moving on the spot. Straight after it was onto something that wasn’t her own and also featured on the Tennis Court EP. This being a cover of The Replacements and the song being Swinging Party. I have to say this was one hell of a take on this tune, it was extraordinary and I could pick up on traces of Lana Del Rey throughout this performance. Following on was Still Sane which was hypnotic and saw Lorde sing how “All work and no play never made me lose it”. Now that is very true because Ella’s schedule has been rather hectic. 400 Lux was in fact quite pacey and upbeat at the same time. Plus the hooks and chorus entranced me. This tune reminded me of Paper Planes by M.I.A.
“This is an older one. It’s one of first songs that I wrote” Ella said before the stunning Bravado. Lifted from The Love Club EP Bravado is an extremely infectious tune with lyrics that make you want to move “It’s a switch flipped/ It’s a pill tipped back, it’s a moon eclipsed, whoa/ And I can tell you that when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this”. Once over it was then onto something brand new and this being the recent collaboration with New York artist Son Lux and the song being Easy. I have to say this was one cracking song and was entirely different compared to the feel of Pure Heroine. It actually felt kind of menacing.
“Shepherds Bush. You guys really mean a big deal for me. Who was at Madame Jojo’s the first time? Just a couple, it was tiny. It was sick. It was great. But since then, I don’t know how long its been, I pretty much haven’t stopped. I played for almost 50,000 in this venue the other day which was like some sort of sick joke. Since then I have wanted to be back in London. I really miss this place and I’m so glad to be back. Being grown up is something I’ve been running from for a very long time. But Shepherds Bush tonight this theatre is sold out. You sold this theatre out because you wanted to come and hear me speak. I’m not scared about growing up because if this is what I get to do as a grown up. So thank you so much” O’ Connor said before Ribs and this tune is one of my many favourites from Pure Heroine. This was pure indie. It may have been sung at a steady pace but the beats complimented the vocals to perfection. The number itself was basically telling us about the fear of getting old “This dream isn’t feeling sweet/ We’re reeling through the midnight streets/ And I’ve never felt more alone/ It feels so scary getting old”. Ribs had been perfectly written which resulted in something infectious and it reminded me of Sky Ferreira’s Everything Is Embarrassing in parts. Once over it was then onto Royals which has been a hit all over the world and it even hit the top spot in the UK. Royals was a contagious pop tune with lyrics that hypnotise you. This was a danceable song which was perfectly delivered. I would go as far to say this is the show piece as it is a credit to her as it shows off O’ Connor’s song writing skills.
“Thank you so much Shepherds Bush” Ella then humbly said before the penultimate number of the evening and this being Team. At first it started off as an acapella then the drums and synths came in creating something utterly wonderful. This actually served as the follow up to Royals but unfortunately it failed to match the success that song achieved. It only charted at #29 which was surprising because this completely entranced me and the showering of confetti made this one epic electro pop tune.
O’ Connor then left the stage only to return wearing a gold cape. The choice of curtain closer was A World Alone. This powerful performance ended something which had been completely magical. A World Alone was really pacey and was faultlessly delivered. After this three day stint in London this won’t be the last we’ve seen of Lorde.
Glory And Gore
White Teeth Teens
A World Alone
OVERALL: This evening was ever so magical. Firstly Lo Fang were enjoyable. Secondly the set by Lorde was extraordinary it was so good just to witness Ella perform live again. Pure Heroine is one hell of an album and it was a treat just to have it fully performed live. I especially liked Glory And Gore. What I adored about this evening was you had the sense of intimacy. There were no photographers in the pit and with the low stage you had the feeling that what you saw was entirely special (Ella even came off the stage during Ribs).
Literally I was left spell bound and by the end I just wanted to hit the reset button to experience it all again. Lorde is one exceptional singer songwriter and I for one hope it isn’t that long until she is next back in the capital