Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Lorde at Coachella: One out of the box - and in it too

Lorde certainly looks different than when she first performed at the music festival. Photo/Getty
Lorde certainly looks different than when she first performed at the music festival. Photo/Getty

If your first thought seeing Lorde hit the main stage at Coachella was, "She looks different," that's because, these days, she does.

Last time the Kiwi pop star was there was in 2014, playing alongside Pharrell and Skrillex on the back of one hit song, Royals, and one hit album, Pure Heroine. At 17, she'd just finished school and had only played a handful of shows.

Lorde at Coachella in 2014. Photo/Getty
Lorde at Coachella in 2014. Photo/Getty

Last night, on the final day of the first weekend of the three-day festival in California's Palm Springs, she looked bright and bold in her shimmering space pants and sheer top, smiling and chatting with the crowd throughout the show.

Lorde performs on the Coachella stage during day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. Photo / Getty
Lorde performs on the Coachella stage during day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. Photo / Getty

And she acted differently too. Taller, more statuesque, confident. Like a boss. "Oh my f***kng God," she declared, gasping at the size of the audience. "This is the s***." They would be the first expletives of many.

Her new attitude was evident from the opening tease of Green Light, when she opted to play just one verse of her recent single, instead teasing it out into the throbby minimalism of Tennis Court, then Magnets, setting up a party atmosphere.

Later, she sat on the edge of the stage and freestyled Kanye West's Runaway, said, "This is a song for when you feel like a pain", then played Liability, a new ballad, like she was in a bar with 30 people.

And she climbed up into the box suspended above the stage, an art installation set up like the awkward teenage house party concept her new album is based around. She danced, drank, sang, sat along - then fell out of it.

The singer interacted with the crowd during her set at Coachella. Photo / Getty
The singer interacted with the crowd during her set at Coachella. Photo / Getty

At one point, she looked out across the sea of faces, held her hand over her face, gasped, then moved that hand to her heart.

At another, she played new song Homemade Dynamite - chorus: "I'm blowing shit up with homemade dynamite" - and it was one of the best moments of her show.

Lorde performs at Coachella. Photo/AP
Lorde performs at Coachella. Photo/AP

The boss lady was in charge, and many were watching. How many? It's hard to tell, but when the camera panned back from above the stage, fans were scattered as far as the eye could see.

More than 75,000 attend the festival on each of its two weekends, and it seemed like a great many were there watching Lorde - not to mention the many thousands more streaming it.

Lorde performs at Coachella's main stage. Photo/AP
Lorde performs at Coachella's main stage. Photo/AP

"Do you have one little burst of energy left? I want you to give me f***ing everything," she declared before Green Light, a million miles from the teen that played there last time, and just moments before the man of the minute, Kendrick Lamar, closed out the festival.

Judging by the reaction, it looked like the boss got her wish.


- NZ Herald

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