Lorde took the stage at The Anthem in Washington D.C. on Sunday, the first and only club show on her Melodrama World Tour. She boasted about loving the intimacy of the crowd, a sentiment every artist probably shares—being able to see their fans up close and personal rather than in the vast area of a daunting arena.
As a fan of the singer back when she first released her EP titled ‘The Love Club’ in 2013 (‘Royals’ right on the cusp of success), I had no idea she would become one of the most highly acclaimed female artists of my generation.
When her debut album ‘Pure Heroine’ dropped later that year, the immediate connection I had with her music pulled at the strings of my newly adult heart. Lorde’s ability to capture the essence of teen longing, the ever-changing difficulties of adult relationships and feelings were unlike anything I’d ever encountered from a musician. Coming from a female artist—that made it all the more real.
My night in D.C. was the first time I’d ever seen her in concert, an experience for which my Melodrama-obsessed self was buzzing. Just like any other live show, you feel that rush of adrenaline and perhaps even an overwhelming feeling of happiness, but what I didn’t expect was the notion that this person on stage really understood me.
Before Lorde belted the words to ‘Writer In The Dark’, one of her most personal songs to date, she made a heartfelt statement about the passion she put into her second album ‘Melodrama’ and her inability to fathom that thousands of people passionately scream those lyrics back to her.
The most relatable detail about Lorde is that she isn’t afraid to tell others what she thinks. The candidness of the 21-year-old and her struggles, especially through her music, is what makes her so appealing to the millennial generation. While these misunderstandings are often brushed off by our older peers, Lorde “gets” us.
Up on that stage, she still treats you like a best friend—ordering a whiskey from the venue bar while baring her soul to over five thousand people. She refers to her fans as her children, even admitting she feels a bit “maternal.” But what she might not know is that the words she sings and the art she creates has shaped the adulthood of many loyal followers.
When she sings the words to tracks like ‘Liability’, ‘Ribs’, ‘Hard Feelings’ and ‘Supercut’ she’s giving a voice to the lonely, lost and heartbroken. Her knack for lyrical writing encapsulates every single trial a twenty-something stumbles through. Watching her put those lyrics into action during a live show is unlike anything one could ever experience.
You haven’t fully lived until you shout the lyrics to ‘Green Light’ with thousands of dedicated fans. It’s a camaraderie so heartwarming it leaves you feeling like your chest could burst.
“You have to be the vivid dreamer,” Lorde says to an audience full of individuals who know nothing more than the comforting words of someone who understands them—knows the inner workings of their hearts and minds. For so many, music is an escape, a place they run to when it all seems gloomy and dark. Lorde can take that world and turn it upside down, making you grasp it in phrases so simple yet complex.
“You have to be the writer,” the singer shares later in her most sincere speech of the night. What she says is easy, something casually said to bring the crowd to tears, but it means much more than a painless sentence: You have to be the writer of your own story, the director of your own life, the singer to your own anthem.
A night that I certainly won’t forget, bringing a few emotional breakdowns along for the ride, Lorde leaves the crowd wanting an itch for the transcendental—to change the world with their passions, art and ideas. Lorde inspires countless amounts of people, giving them a voice they were unable to comprehend until now, simply by writing the words to a song that demands them to let go of everything that hurts and hold onto what makes sense.
Something as easygoing as, “That green light, I want it.”
Featured image source: Twitter