The real weight of Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor’s meteoric rise to stardom is felt heavily this evening as a sold out Alexandra Palace await the arrival of New Zealand’s most successful pop export. Battling through a rain storm to one of the highest points in the city and arriving to the thunderous drums of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, the scene could not be set any better.

Arriving onstage unaccompanied, Lorde is immediately captivating, running through two off-centre cuts ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Magnets’. A neon structure brings intimacy to an otherwise gargantuan stage creating intimacy within the darkness. Although dwarfed by the mighty palace in stature, the feisty performer fills every inch of it with the sheer scale of new cuts such as ‘The Louvre’, its shuffling reverb making the ground shake under foot.

The introduction to every track is met with deafening screams, whether it is a much loved Pure Heroine cut or a new release. An early appearance of ‘Sober’ confirms just how well Melodrama has been received by fans old and new, every word bellowed back by a 10,000 strong crowd. It is a personifying track of the new record filled with theatre, adrenaline and honesty. The set is reflective of a young artist, filled with excitement and buoyant energy. She spends an unnecessary long time introducing the wounding ‘Liability’ to the point where it loses some of its emotional weight. The vocal delivery is, however, faultless and the vulnerable tone of voice is a testament to Lorde’s youthful approach to pop.


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Throughout the evening, she daintily tightrope walks between unabashed pop of ‘Perfect Places’ and more art pop leaning tracks such as ‘Hard Feelings’ accompanied by extravagant backing dancer displays. In such a cavernous venue, Lorde manages to incite intimacy during a chilling rendition of Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’. A strangely egotistical cover as she croons the line ‘oh, lord’ over and over, yet what makes Lorde so special is how she takes traditional song structure and makes them feel undoubtedly future-proof.

Arriving after her final intermission dressed in a sparkling red jump suit, she unleashes tracks as bright as her outfit. The gigantic ‘Supercut’ showcases Jack Antonoff’s pristine production and is the undoubted anthem-in-waiting from Melodrama, a packaged single with soaring chorus that flies even further when performed live. Following it is the contrasting ice-cool ‘Royals’, Lorde’s voice hitting the lower regions of her range, its sauntering pace and chorus for the ages sounding aptly decadent in Alexandra Palace. Interestingly, this breakout mega-smash is no way the highlight of the set. It can’t compete with the desperate drama of ‘Perfect Places’ or the electro majesty of ‘Sober’.

Lorde has developed so incredibly between two albums that the new material manages to overshadow the startlingly originality of Pure Heroine. Melodrama’s lead single ‘Green Light’ closes proceedings and best exemplifies the brilliance of this artist. A track that’s structure does not suit the radio and is in no way chart friendly; sentiments echoed by the mighty Max Martin. Yet through a demonstration of courage and self-belief in her sound, Lorde delivered the most anthemic pop moment of 2017. Its house piano key building spectacularly when cheered on by the venue in entirety before we hit peak euphoria in the luscious 80s chorus, fans screaming its hook and throwing their arms in abandon. David Bowie once called Lorde “the future of music,” and following this evening’s performance, the future is bright, and green.