Despite telling fans she was feeling “a bit under the weather” in a tweet before walking onstage at the Comerica Theatre on Thursday night, pop singer Lorde demonstrated what it truly means to be a performer and entertainer at her first sold-out Phoenix show.
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Lo-Fang warmed up the crowd by playing the guitar and violin during his original songs like “Look Away” and “#88.”
Almost 5,000 fans arrived early to the theater in anticipation for the night ahead, and before Lorde’s set had even started, it was clear that the pop star’s music doesn’t reach just one demographic.
Madison Rader, 13, and her mom awaited the singer with excitement and Madison revealed why she is such a fan of the seventeen-year-old from New Zealand.
“I like Lorde because her music is different. I first heard her song “Royals” on the radio…we’ve had these tickets for months,” Madison said.
Similar to Madison, Nick Chavez, 17, enjoys Lorde’s music and also looks to her as an inspiration for his dreams of becoming a professional singer himself.
“I like people who sing about real stuff and real things that are happening to them,” Nick said.
When the lights dimmed at 9:00 p.m., a small girl with wild curly hair dressed in all black walked timidly onto the stage. However, once she sang the first note of her song “Glory and Gore”, there was no question that her presence was anything but shy.
If anyone has seen a performance of Lorde’s, whether it be in person or on national television, they know that she likes to dance. And she’s not afraid of doing so, no matter how unnatural or intimidating it looks to some.
“People can say whatever they want about her dancing, but I love it,” Nick said. “She really feels her music that much.”
Never missing a note, Lorde began singing the songs from her debut album, “Pure Heroine” while an impressive light show went along to every beat that two of her bandmates created behind her.
With her incredible maturity and ability to control a crowd of thousands, it’s difficult to comprehend that Lorde is this successful and poised at only 17 years old.
Although songs like “Tennis Court” and “White Teeth Teens” turned into one huge dance party, the best moment of the night happened when Lorde stopped singing for a moment to talk to the audience before her song “Ribs”, which is inspired by one of her greatest fears and a memory of throwing a party while her parents were away.
“Even though this is one of the first songs I’ve written for this album, I still have this feeling all the time,” Lorde said during an intimate moment with the crowd. “I’m terrified of growing up. There are things in my life that make me feel terrified, but I can be here in a room full of friends in Phoenix who get me…it doesn’t make me feel like an adult on the stage, it makes me feel like a kid.”
Throughout the rest of her set, Lorde’s genuineness shone through as she constantly smiled out to the crowd and thanked them repeatedly for changing her life in such a short amount of time.
“It trips me out that I’m here, that you brought me here because you care about what I’m trying to say and that means so much to me, Phoenix,” Lorde said to the crowd before her performance of her song, “Bravado”.
The biggest reactions from the crowd occurred during Lorde’s performances of her two hit singles, “Royals” and “Team.” Standing alone in front of the microphone, she delivered a performance of “Royals” that sounded nearly the exact same as her record, despite telling the crowd that she was exhausted.
During her performance of her newest single, “Team,” she ran backstage while an incredible light show played on with the song. Before the song ended, Lorde returned to the stage for the final chorus wearing a shimmering gold cape while confetti cannons went off into the crowd.
Lorde, who is in the middle of her first North American tour, gave the audience everything she had during her Phoenix show, and according to the cheering audience, it was more than enough.
Mike Wood, 49, said he liked Lorde’s energy.
“She really feels the music and delivered it very well,” he said.
Wood brought his 14-year-old daughter, Anna, as part of their surprise trip from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“The show blew me away,” Anna said. “I really liked how her voice sounds so similar to her CD so you can tell that she doesn’t do much to her voice when she records.”
With the ability to dance as if she’s alone in her room, sing song after song with barely a moment to catch her breath, and look out into a crowd of 5,000 men, women and children and constantly express gratitude, Lorde made it clear on Thursday night that this is only the beginning of the long career she has ahead of her.
Lorde’s next show is at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Saturday.
Reach the reporter at Brittany.Schmus@asu.edu