Written by Ilana Kaplan • Photography by Getty Images • April 14, 2017
After three years of much anticipation, pop goddess Lorde (a.k.a. Ella Yelich-O’Connor) dropped the first single from her forthcoming album Melodrama last month. For fans of her debut LP Pure Heroine, the new track “Green Light” reintroduced Lorde to the public as an evolved pop star in her prime. Along with the release, it was announced Lorde would also tour in support of Melodrama, with dates at Coachella, Governors Ball and New Orleans Jazz Fest (grab tickets here). As Lorde returns to the stage, we’ve highlighted 10 of her best live moments.
Lorde can make any cover sound magical. So when a Philadelphia crowd got to hear a Bon Iver cut with Lorde’s vocals, it was clear she made everyone’s night. Before lilting “Heavenly Father,” she declared to the crowd, “It’s a song about having faith in someone, anyone, yourself” — and then she left everyone in awe.
The beginning of this performance really hones in on Lorde’s haunting vocals while she croons the lyrics of “Team.” With her giant wing-like sleeves and black lipstick, she appears as an angel of darkness, as she belts “We’re on each other’s team.”
Accompanying the surviving members of Nirvana onstage, Lorde performed “All Apologies” in a pink pantsuit, paying tribute to the late Kurt Cobain. Although the then teen singer wasn’t even born when Nirvana was at the height of its success, her gritty, stellar vocals surely would have made Cobain proud.
Fans were beyond thrilled to experience the first live performance of Lorde’s single “Yellow Flicker Beat” from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 soundtrack at Austin City Limits in 2014. Lorde looks like she’s losing her mind while singing the gorgeous single and we’re right there with her.
At 2014’s Lollapalooza, Lorde was “lost for words” as she saw the immense crowd before her, but really spoke to the Chicago community before performing the dark pop gem “Ribs.” Since it was just the beginning of her career, playing the main stage at a festival like Lollapalooza was a huge honor and she couldn’t contain her gratefulness.
Lorde opened the show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, whipping her hair back and forth and dancing wildly on stage while performing “Glory And Gore.” All eyes were on her, as she commanded the audience with her sheer presence.
During her Pure Heroine tour, Lorde stopped by Milwaukee to play an incredible set featuring the trippy “Buzzcut Season” alongside an intense light show. Her signature hair-flipping made several amazing cameos during this set, alongside her air punches which are basically a part of her standard choreography.
During Taylor Swift’s epic 1989 tour, she surprised fans by bringing one of her celeb pals onstage with her each night. Lucky fans in Washington D.C. were able to catch a rare performance of “Royals” with Swift and Lorde sharing vocal duties. That was also the same night Swift experienced a stage malfunction where she was stuck in the air, making it a memorable evening for multiple reasons.
Attendees of the California music festival got a surprise from Lorde when she joined Disclosure onstage for the electric “Magnets” during their set. Fans were thrilled, and even more excited when Sam Smith and AlunaGeorge made cameos.
For her first live debut of “Green Light,” Lorde wowed audiences with her devastatingly beautiful pop track and Robyn-esque dance skills on Saturday night’s favorite show. It was an epic return for the 20-year-old singer who showed off a more mature, liberated version of herself to the public.
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