Lorde concert review – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion @ Nautica – 09.24.14
It’s safe to say that most 17 year old musicians would not be able to nearly sell out Jacobs Pavillion at Nautica their first time ever performing in Cleveland. New Zealand native Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known by her much simpler stage name Lorde, did just that. In just a few short years, her unique pop music has reached fans across the globe, skyrocketing her to fame. Cleveland fans were thrilled to finally have her in our city.
A single spotlight shined down on Lorde as she sang the daunting lyrics to “Glory and Gore” from her first (and only) full length album, ‘Pure Heroine’ (2013.) For this song and many more, Lorde whipped her iconic mane of hair around as she sporadically danced along to her songs. The single spotlight remained on her for “White Teeth Teens,” with the addition of three screens that flashed video of her as well as the keyboard player and drummer that accompanied her on stage. The set changed drastically for the second single off ‘Pure Heroine’ titled “Tennis Court” where the stage was filled with a haunting rush of smoke and flooded with green light. After that, nearly every song had its own unique lighting scheme, some including strobes while others featured a machine that emitted bubbles filled with smoke.
Lorde – “Royals” – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – 09.24.14. Video courtesy of YouTube user ninjastickyrice
As the night went on, it became difficult to remember that Lorde is just a teenager and has not been in the industry for very long. After touring virutally nonstop for the past year, Lorde has been able to develop a unique and fun stage personality. The lyrics she belted out were heartfelt, with each song carrying its own meaning that related to every fan in its own way. And, despite her age, she is confident and poised with her stage delivery, sporting simple yet creative outfits and throwing her body in every which way as she danced. However, some of her teenage elements came out as well. For example, Lorde revealed her mom is accompanying her on the tour. Though she carries herself like an adult, some things are the same for all teenagers.
Lorde’s vocal talents shined brightly throughout the night. Though she used a back track for many songs, her own, pure voice overpowered the tracked parts, sounding almost identically to the album. To mix things up a bit, Lorde showed off her rapping talents by covering Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” and her vocal range with Bon Iver’s “Heavenly Father.”
Near the end of the set, Lorde spoke extensively for the first time, repeatedly expressing her gratitude for the fans helping her get where she is today. She told the crowd how she felt like she was friends with everyone who came to her shows and was grinning from ear to ear every time the crowd cheered for her. Clearly, Lorde has remained humble throughout her journey into fame.
One of her last songs of the night, and a fan favorite as well, was her two-time Grammy winning song “Royals.” As fans screamed the lyrics along with her, Lorde’s smile was bigger than at any other point in the night. Only a mere two years ago did Lorde release that very song on her self-released EP ‘The Love Club,’ and that very song is now helping her sell out venues across the country.
For the last few songs, the set featured a marquee that read “Tonight: The Tragic and Wonderful Triumphal Procession of Lorde.” I’ll have to disagree with Lorde’s word choice: There was nothing tragic about seeing her perform. Every essence of her performance was triumphant and, it’s safe to say everyone is eager to see what Lorde’s next album will bring.
Before Lorde’s set, Majical Cloudz put on a haunting display of their own. The duo of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto put on a relaxed performance of soothing electronic tunes. While their music was captivating and unique, their overall stage presence was lacking. Welsh stood stationary, tightly clutching his microphone for most of the set and neither member interacted with the crowd very much. However, Welsh did express that his nerves were on high that night. The duo played a mix of songs from their many albums and EPs, including selections from their 2010 self-titled album and their newest album, ‘Impersonator.’ Though the overall performance was rather dry, the duo sounded nearly identical to their album tracks and had powerful lyrics that Welsh enchanted the crowd with.