If you’re 16-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde (real name: Ella Yelich-O’Connor), you’re having the best week ever.
After playing two sold-out shows at Webster Hall Monday and Tuesday Lorde hopped across the East River to Greenpoint last night where she introduced her refreshing take on pop music (“where pierogies meet punk”) at Warsaw.
Lorde’s first album “Pure Heroine” was released Tuesday. She celebrated the occasion by making her US television debut that night courtesy of Jimmy Fallon. The next day she booted Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry from the top spots on the Billboard Top 100, claiming #1.
She is the youngest solo artist to achieve this since 1987 – nine years before she was even born. Equally as impressive, she’s been sitting at the top of the Alternative Songs chart for seven weeks, marking the longest reign by a lead female, trumping none other than Alanis Morisette’s whose “You Oughta Know” lasted five weeks.
It’s all thanks to her single “Royals” in which she pokes fun at all the silly stuff most other artists are singing about on the radio today. In the hit she sings, “Let me be your ruler/You can call me queen bee/And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule/Let me live that fantasy.” Doesn’t sound like it’s much of a fantasy right now.
At 9pm last night a line snaked around Warsaw, swooping along Driggs and down Eckford. No one in line looked Lorde’s age aside from the two guys behind me who were blatantly drooling over her.
The venue was packed inside, an impressive feat considering the size of the place. Lorde meandered on stage around 10pm, her hair a mass of curls and probably full of secrets about how she looks so effortlessly cool. Draped in a black cloak with a smirk on her face, she delivered the majority of her current catalog of songs from the new album and “The Love Club” EP released last May.
The setting was dark. Lorde moved around the stage like a silhouette with just her face peering out from the cloak and that hair lit up by bright strobe lights matching every beat. It gave the effect that she was putting a spell on us. She looked and sounded like a witchy hip-hop soul teen queen.
Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” is receiving positive press all around with much acclaim for her lyrics and voice. Throughout the show she had no trouble displaying that natural talent, singing with conviction and emitting a confidence making it easy to forget her ripe age.
One of the most memorable moments of the night arrived near the end of the set when she busted out a partial cover of Kanye West’s “Hold My Liquor.” The crowd loved it because she nailed it. Even Kanye would admit it was cool. Lorde closed with “A World Alone,” the final track from “Pure Heroine” and no encore despite the crowd begging for more. It was a quick set, not even an hour long. But that’s all we needed. Just a taste. Lorde cast her spell on that Greenpoint crowd and it’s safe to say we’ll continue cheering for her while she continues her royal reign.