review: melodrama world tour
Anyone who knows me knows I could talk about Lorde for quite a bit. Seriously. In fact, during her last tour, the Melodrama World Tour, I swear four to five of my daily conversations started because of her. I remember graduating from high school and taking a school trip to Paris and listening to “Royals” when it was solely a single NON-STOP from Chicago to France. As Lorde grew up, I always felt as if I grew up alongside her, with both of us feeling (and her singing) about emotions that were all too close for comfort. Growing up, getting older, first loves, etc.
But, not to get all sappy and emotional! We’re here to talk about Ella’s most recent endeavor, the Melodrama World Tour! I was fortunate enough to see it on two stops (Chicago and Nashville) and I’m so happy I got to experience her live for the first time after missing her Chicago stop back in 2014.
I had very similar seats for both shows, just on opposite sides of the venue. We essentially sat in the 100s closest to the stage, and what an experience it was. I’ve seen only a few arena shows (one being Beyoncé at Soldier Field a few years back) and there’s something about a venue that is large in capacity yet still feels intimate enough to be personalized. Allstate and Bridgestone Arena did just that.
Lorde opened with “Sober,” off her latest album, Melodrama, and from the moment the house lights went down, she was in control. She had an incredible way with the energy of the arena and made a giant show feel quite intimate and club-like. Six dancers swarmed the stage bathed in a blue-purple light that allowed you to only see their silhouettes. As the music started, only Ella’s voice could be heard until a few minutes in when the lights came on and she began the show.
From start to finish, it felt like the show took on a mind of its own. From older tracks like “Buzzcut Season” and “Tennis Court,” to new ones she brought to life on stage like “Green Light” and “Supercut,” Lorde made sure everyone was accommodated whether they were new or old fans. She even threw in Disclosure’s “Magnets” and “Yellow Flicker Beat” which she recorded for The Hunger Games soundtrack.
The pure awe I felt during this tour was her set. Simplistic, yet complex at the same time, the stage was anchored by six vertical screens that changed position in between songs. But, the real focal point was a glass box that rose from under the stage and at points during the show, was suspended in mid-air with dancers inside telling the story of Melodrama. It was unlike anything I had seen before.
My favorite moment of the entire show had to be her performance of “Green Light.” As she sang through the second chorus, anyone who’s heard the song knows it goes into a final break of the chorus before it’s end, yet she added a short pause to the song where she built up her grand finale. As she ran across the stage, she said she wanted us to give her all of the emotion, all of the jealousy and anger, and to feel it in our fingertips and feet while we let everything go during the finale. As the music picked back up, star-shaped confetti blanketed the floor sections before she took her bow.
Another highlight had to be her new rendition of “Ribs,” off her first album, Pure Heroine. One of my favorite songs of all time, I had heard it had been redone on tour, and was nervous for what that entailed after also learning my favorite song, “A World Alone,” was also not included in the set list. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Ella’s new take on her old classic, with guitar riffs and beats abound, I definitely found myself jumping by the end.
Like any tour, there were off points, but mostly just personal preferences. I found the encore, composed of “Loveless,” “Precious Metals” (an unreleased Melodrama track), and “Team” to be slightly underwhelming after “closing” with “Green Light” although “Team” felt like a great closer. I was also slightly disappointed by the openers in regards to their overall vibe, I felt as if I would have enjoyed Run the Jewels more if I wasn’t seeing Lorde after them, the energies just didn’t mesh well for me at all.
All and all though, the Melodrama World Tour was a highlight of 2018 so far, so much so that I went and saw it twice! Filled with energy and intimacy, dancing and a general feeling of bliss, the night was one for the books. Also, six pieces of merch later (RIP bank account), it’s time for a bit of a break. Let’s just hope Ella’s got more in store for us. Not sure I can wait another four years.