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When LORDE Came To Town

Last Tuesday night Lorde played the Aragon ballroom. If you are not familiar with the artist, let me fill you in on her meteoric rise over the last year. Putting out her first original album back in 2012, “The Love Club,” she offered it as a free download. It was not long until the album sparked critical acclaim and legions of fans. In 2013, she re-released the album as “Pure Heroine” with additional tracks, and the rest was history. She was praised by some as having the song of the year, “Royals,” and currently has another single, “Team,” perched at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as multiple Grammys.

lordeFor me though, it has not only been her stellar, moody tracks that have gained my attention, but also her views as a modern feminist and being outspoken in regards to women and exploitation in music. She seems to be quite an old soul when it comes to her musical influences, which includes Etta James, Otis Redding, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. At the same time her youthful nature is influenced by SBTRKT, Sleigh Bells and even Nicki Minaj.

For some reason, I cannot get out of my head how much she reminds me of a young Sinead O’Connor. Both artists’ original albums were cutting edge alternatives yet very pop friendly. Both have shockingly unique voice styles that are accompanied by atmospheric arrangements. Like Sinead, Lorde has those big smokey eyes, understated pure sensuality and feminist values.

As for the concert itself, it was splendid. Her voice carried so well live that it leaves you spellbound. The keyboardist and electro drummer that accompanied Lorde, blended effortlessly with her every word. Though they used a few strobes and an LED background wall behind them, it was almost unnecessary because her oddly theatrical dancing stole the show as the fans pulsed to the electro beats. I turned to my partner at one point and could only say, “My god, she is only 17. Whodathunk?” Lorde’s first concert in Chicago was nothing short of a great success.


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