For me, music has always been a very physical experience. I get shivers, usually just down the back of my neck and along my shoulders – sometimes in my thighs, but nothing prepared me for Lorde.
I felt as though my entire body had been dunked in ice, even though I was surrounded by hundreds of humid, sweating bodies.
Lorde’s glistening soundscapes are even more immersive in person, so much so that it feels like being inside her synesthesia. Of course, the corporeal nature of the music is only amplified by the live show.
Lorde performs under neon lights shaped like spacemen, stars, and twisted foliage. A giant sign that reads 'MELODRAMA' flashes behind her, along with two back up dancers.
When she closes the show with 'Green Light' the stage is bathed in bright green light. The entire audience is pulsing, radiating joy.
Every inch of my skin is vibrating and all I can think is, why would you ever listen to anything but pop music? This is pure delight.
It is incomparably special to be in the same room as an artist capable of shaping her most intimate moments so that they get under your skin. And once they’re under there it’s like you have to cry and sing and dance with your friends to get them out.
I had worried that the night would be painful, that hearing Melodrama live would make me weep and retreat into myself, but instead, it's total release.
Lorde, in all her radiant, charming brilliance, makes the whole thing like talking to a friend. Crouching by a fan in the sweltering town hall, she speaks at length about feeling as though she has often had to hide parts of herself in order to be loveable.
She transforms 'Liability' from something unspeakably painful into shuddering, collective relief and strength.
In Dunedin, we are often starved of performers who really care about both their craft and their audience. In Dunedin, we are often reserved and shy audiences.
Lorde blew us right out of our chilly, standoffish water. From the moment she stepped onstage to the opening chords of 'Homemade Dynamite' until the final shudder of 'Loveless', we were all enthralled in absolute and total ecstasy.
You couldn’t want for anything more.