Photo by Sophia Arndt

Singer Lorde performs to the crowd, at the Armory on April 25. She and her band perform Buzzcut Season, a song from her second album Melodrama.

Lorde’s Solar Power tour is a celebration of youth

Lights dimmed at the Armory on April 25, as thousands of fans screamed their praise; Lorde had taken the stage. After four years of hiatus Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, more formerly known as singer-songwriter Lorde, dropped her third album Solar Power, later announcing a world tour by the same name. Unlike her other two albums, Solar Power stood as an album celebrating the joys of growing older and moving on from the past, an album perfectly poignant for graduating seniors, who were in the crowd for what was sure to be an euphoric night. 

When first released, Solar Power was faced with some interesting backlash; some claimed the album was “too happy.” It is not untrue to say that Lorde is known for her mature and angsty music, with her fan favorite album, Melodrama, closely following the symptoms of burnout and youth. But this joyful shift was exactly what some fans needed. 

“You can’t get past Melodrama, that’s a top tier album, but Solar Power is definitely a close second. There are definitely some really good songs on there… It’s very summer,” senior Ella Sorenson said.

Sorenson further explained that the album reflects the shift between the dreariness of COVID to “the best summer of our lives.”

Though Sorenson is correct, there is no beating the existentialism of Melodrama, but there is something enchanting about the joyful nature of Solar Power. The album stands a beautiful companion piece to life, and a heartfelt guide for those moving through a life changing shift. A hand to hold as fans step into adulthood.

The song to start the concert was The Leader of a New Regime, a song describing the outcome of an ecological disaster. A cause close to Ella’s heart, she laments that she does not have all the answers, singing “Won’t somebody, anybody, be the leader of a new regime?” This song set the tone for the show, a release of negative expectations in exchange for pure happiness. 

The show at the Armory was different from Lordes’ other shows. Housing 7,000 people, the space was a stark contrast to Lorde’s more intimate and smaller venues. In reaction to this, Lorde stated she wanted people to celebrate because that night would be their own little “festival.” Fans shared bottles of water, keeping each other safe and hydrated as they danced. 

Sorenson said that she thought it was a really interesting and fun show, “She always does really intimate concerts, and since this was a bigger venue, I thought it was really interesting how she handled it differently.”

Midway through the festivities, Lorde took a moment to speak to her fans. The music slowed, and Lorde, now requesting the fans to call her Ella, thanked the fans who waited in the cold for her. The day had been chilly, as the winds were strong in the cities; and yet fans from across the state waited patiently in line, dressed in all manner of summer clothes to fit the theme of the album.

“That’s still unbelievable to me… what did I do to deserve people who would wait in the cold for me?” Lorde asked the crowd. 

 Lorde further explained that the love that was shown by those waiting in line inspired her to give a gift to her fans. 

“It’s so small really, but if there is ever a moment that you feel like you can’t do it or you feel like giving up, I want you to remember this moment where I said I believe in you.”

This is the moment that stands out to Sorenson when recalling the concert, “It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” 

Another standout moment was Lorde’s performance of the title song, Solar Power. Lorde called the song a “spell,” and referred to its ethereal nature. As the bridge ended, thousands of yellow confetti flew from the rafters and flowed through the crowd. It was a perfect moment for many, as a sea of yellow drifted around fans eyes.

As the yellow confetti drifted down, signifying the end of the concert, Lorde gave one final goodbye before departing, waving and smiling at the screaming fans. As the lights turned on and security guards began to hand out water bottles to the exhausted fans, many began to reflect on their memories from the last hour; memories that they will fondly carry for the rest of their lives.

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