A few songs in front of her headlining set at The Greek Theatre on Monday night, teenaged sensation Lorde acknowledged that the last time she played Los Angeles “proper”, she was at The Belasco and The Echoplex, just a little more than a year ago.
There was no better way to note how far she’d come in that one year. Lorde said that playing Coachella this year was a moment where she felt her band had “made it,” and headlining The Greek was another such moment in a career that will undoubtedly feature many more ups along the way. It is actually quite stunning how far she’s come even just since that Coachella set in April.
Her lengthy between song banter came a few songs in, after kicking off her set with songs like “White Teeth Teens” and “Tennis Court,” and sounded like what a page in Lorde’s diary might read like. It was a really inspiring thing to see a person of her age in the limelight showing maturity, rather than acting like a clown a la Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. My niece just turned five years old last week, and I’m hopeful it is Lorde who she grows up idolizing and drawing influence from.
“Because I’m doing it for the thrill of it, killin’ it,” Lorde sang matter-of-factly on “Tennis Court,” igniting the crowd out the gate.
Many might say that Lorde makes some weird movements while on stage — but more power to her. It’s clear that she’s more confident in herself than anyone I knew at 17. She was humbled by the fact that she was headlining such a notable venue, but not intimidated. During her set, covers of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” and Bon Iver’s “Heavenly Father” were worthwhile as well as also an indication of her wide-stretching taste in music.
The triple dip of “Royals,” “Yellow Flicker Beat,” and “Team” was the high point of the night. Lorde preceded “Yellow Flicker Beat” by saying the night was so special that they were going to play a song they “don’t always play, every night, just…sometimes.” It is a track from the Hunger Games soundtrack that has only been played a handful of times, and it is a good sign as to where Lorde’s songwriting is headed. “They used to shout my name, now they whisper it,” she begins the chorus.
For “Team,” Lorde switched things up big time, turning the performance into an evening at a Las Vegas club. Lorde deviated from the normal flow of the song, breaking on the second chorus into a trippy and uplifting extended loop. A minute or so later, she brought it back to the chorus and continued the song like on the album version. I’m not sure if this is a regular thing, but it is nice to see such creativity, particularly when performing one of her two biggest hits.
By the end of the night, everyone in attendance had to consider themselves “Team Lorde,” including Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, who were just a few seats down from me.
Majical Cloudz was someone I was previously unfamiliar with before they opened for Lorde on Monday. If Lorde is considered awkward, singer Devon Welsh put her to shame in that department. His crowd interactions were interesting and while singing, he’d issue an odd and uncomfortable fist-pump.
Welsh dedicated a song called “Childhood’s End” to the fathers in the crowd, and I wasn’t sure if this was an ironic point given all the sub-teenaged girls that were there with adult supervision. There was a dad-daughter combo in my section, so it is possible.
There were a couple of songs that made me think this was a male Sharon Van Etten (Sharon Man Etten?). As in, many of the songs had heavy lyrics but were punctuated by awkward but funny between song banter, perhaps in an attempt to lighten things up.
The Canadian pop-duo ended their set at its highest point, with the powerful “Bugs Don’t Buzz” closing it out. “If life could be forever one instant, would it be the moment you met me? No my love,” Welsh sings in the song’s final moments. It was gorgeous.
Check out our photos below of Lorde with Majical Cloudz at the Greek Theatre
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Will Tee Yang
Want more photos of Lorde and Majical Cloudz? Check out the photo gallery below!