Is it a coincidence that this weekend finds Chicago experiencing sunny 80 degree weather or could it be the fact that Lorde, the New Zealand superstar who is currently in town supporting her 2021 album, Solar Power, brings rays of sunshine wherever she goes?
During the first of two sold-out nights at the Chicago Theatre on April 22, the singer-songwriter – born Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor – let fans in on a little secret about the album’s breezy title track.
“This song is a spell to summon the feeling of a warm summer’s day,” she said of the hit single. The audience quickly joined in on chanting the musical incantation which was accented by a burst of yellow confetti.
The release of Solar Power finds Lorde charting new territory on her musical journey. If her early hits like “Royals” and “Team” defined the angst a new generation wielded at society’s upper crust and her Melodrama material provided a blueprint for coping with the emotional pendulum of heartbreak, then her latest album serves as an affirmation of mindfulness. Yes, the world is still messy, but every problem has a better chance of being overcome if you bring it into the light.
“Leader of a New Regime,” which kicked off the concert, was unveiled patiently with subtle performance art. Lorde and her band appeared on a giant sundial making slow decisive movements to accentuate the visual wonder. Later “Fallen Fruit,” resided in the realm where folk meets psychedelic while also serving as a bridge between the new and old. Lorde’s vocals alternated between sweet and husky with ease audibly representing her ever-evolving versatility as an artist.
Taking advantage of the intimate nature of the “beautiful venue,” Lorde often took time to express gratitude to fans pointing out that she recognized some familiar faces and felt like she was having a “catch-up” with friends.
“I know I’ve got my real one’s here tonight and it’s a Friday night. We are gonna f*ck it up. First though, are you ready to cry,” she said before playing the most brooding track on Solar Power, “Stoned at the Nail Salon.”
Whether tears were falling or hands were waving in the air – many times, both simultaneously – fans embraced every twist and turn of Lorde’s cathartic emotional rollercoaster. The only disagreement between artist and audience came when – in the above mentioned “Stoned at the Nail Salon” – Lorde sang, “All the music you loved at sixteen, you’ll grow out of.” Longtime fans cheered in defiance as they adore Lorde just as much today as they did almost a decade ago.
Lorde first rose to prominence as a teenager releasing the triple platinum Pure Heroine in 2013. Now 25-years-old, she frequently revisited her debut album to the delight of fans who have been there since the beginning.
“Should we dance for our 15-year-old-selves,” she asked before leading a euphoric performance of “Ribs,” provoking everyone in the venue to jump around with abandon.
Songs from Melodrama inspired the biggest dance parties of the night. As everyone screamed along to “Perfect Places” and “Green Light,” Lorde once again showcased her sorcery bona fides, this time conjuring a shared opportunity to get blissfully lost in music.
Remi Wolf proved to be the perfect choice for the evening’s opener as she got the party started with irresistible singles like “Disco Man,” “Sexy Villain,” and “Photo ID.”
Lorde continues her Solar Power Tour with another sold-out night at the Chicago Theatre on April 23 before traveling to Minneapolis, Denver, and more cities. Click here to pick-up tickets to upcoming shows and more information can be found at Lorde.co.nz.
Check out photos, by John Shearer/Getty Images for Lorde, from Lorde’s tour opener on April 03, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee below.