The Killers 6/11/17

(a) setlist

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    7. Human
    8. Run For Cover
    9. Somebody Told Me
    10. For Reasons Unknown
    11. A Dustland Fairytale
    12. Read My Mind
    13. Runaways
    14. All These Things That I’ve Done
    15. When You Were Young

(b) highlights

  • ughhh, love the feeling of knowing The Killers can headline any and all festivals even when they don’t have a new album, total babes
  • some found this set too short but I thought it was the perfect length for a Sunday night when I had work the next day and it was a million degrees outside
  • I love when the band opens with “Mr. Brightside,” especially at a festival – if only because most people think everyone sees The Killers just to hear “Mr. Brightside.” But nope. Everyone stays and the band keeps playing on.
  • “Run For Cover” sounded even better than the night before, if that’s possible. Brandon seemed lighter and looser, and I was into it. We’ve got a singalong on our hands, folks
  • the crowd was freaking massive at the BB&T Center in Camden and everyone was so into it; over 30,000 people were there and we were right there in the 4th row center. incredible.

(c) lowlights

  • #KILLSHADOWPLAY2017, I’M NOT KIDDING
  • it was SO. GODDAMN. HOT. no. like, really. Brandon had to change his outfit halfway through the set – something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do. Dave wiped his face with his towel between every single song, it was nuts. I’m almost positive the show ended early because it was so hot. I felt hot, tired, and old, so I wasn’t complaining.
  • #KillShadowplay2017

(d) overall thoughts

 

In case anyone thought differently, New Jersey in the middle of June is hot. Attending a concert in New Jersey in the middle of June is hot. But attending a concert in New Jersey in the middle of June with 30,000 people in an outdoor venue is definitely goddamn hot. But, obviously, no one was going to miss The Killers just because of that.

The night was hot, the lights were hot, the crowd was hot, body heat packing everyone in, the distant rumble of thousands of fans standing behind me, and then the band came out. The fact that a band like The Killers can legitimately open a festival set with “Mr. Brightside” like it’s no big deal will never not amaze me. Recently, a flurry of articles have popped up questioning how it’s possible that “Mr. Brightside” has remained in the UK music charts for over a decade since its release. How is it possible? I don’t know, maybe it’s an incredible song that everyone instantly knows the words to and connects with because it’s catchy as hell, timeless, and uh, oh The Killers are phenomenal songwriters, and why is this a question again?

Even if you’re not interested in The Killers, or find them overrated, or annoying, or overplayed, or overblown, or uninteresting, or…whatever — I don’t think it’s unfair to recognize the effect they’ve had on generations of music fans. They haven’t promoted a real studio album with new music and haven’t played this particular venue since 2013 yet everyone around me knew every song for the most part. How many other bands can say that? Honestly. Who?

Most songs felt like business as usual – having seen a set like this many times – but that’s not a bad thing. I still feel like every time I’ve seen the band, they’ve grown as performers. Dave has been coming out of his shell again the last couple of years after an odd period of retreating behind his mane of hair, and genuinely looks happy to be performing again. Ronnie is P u l l i n g O f f those white pants and Brandon’s voice and energy feels stronger than its ever been. We miss you so much, Mark. “Run For Cover” sounded even better hearing it the second time live and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to hear it. The boys are cooking something special and I’m ready for a taste.

Bottom line: After seeing this show and hearing a taste of The Killers new music, I really feel like the band is on the precipice of something great. Over a decade of success, the delight of millions, and integrity in performance proves that all signs lead to a pot of gold for the guys from Las Vegas. Something special is on the horizon and I feel so lucky to be witnessing it.

The Killers 6/10/17

(a) setlist

    1. Human
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. All The Songs Have Been Written/One More Song (unclear title)
    6. Bling (Confession of a King)
    7. Shadowplay (Joy Division cover)
    8. Run For Cover
    9. Somebody Told Me
    10. Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll
    11. For Reasons Unknown
    12. My List
    13. A Dustland Fairytale
    14. Read My Mind
    15. Runaways
    16. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. Shot at the Night
  2. When You Were Young
  3. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • NEW. MUSIC. FIN.A.LLY.
  • but seriously. aside from the brilliant “Shot at the Night” in 2013, we’ve gone 5 goddamn years without new music from these dudes, and I have no idea how I survived that long. this new music was so needed.
  • including “My List” in here was so sweet and heartfelt and made me so happy that the band is giving it another shot after the Sam’s Town shows; my recent wish is for it to replace “Smile Like You Mean It” in the setlist (don’t hurt me, SLYMI apologists)
  • I’ve heard “A Dustland Fairytale” live dozens of times, but it never hit me harder than at this show – I was in tears before the chorus even hit. so beautiful.
  • I can def jam with “Run For Cover” and the little piano ballad; I can’t wait to hear those at their most complete and feel so lucky to have seen them in Atlantic City
  • this show in particular felt like being at home with my friends; everyone around us were the best fans, the best people, and constantly bring so much joy into my life; I felt so terribly lucky to have been there with them, watching this band, hearing those songs, and living that night

(c) lowlights

  • #KillShadowplay2017
  • #KillShadowplay2017
  • #KillShadowplay2017

(d) overall thoughts

Some shows are really light and fun, and other ones hit you harder than you anticipate. Somehow, this show at the Borgata – literally the 4th time in 5 years The Killers have played this venue in the summer – ended up being a combination of the two. A pre-summer getaway to New Jersey after a predictably-delayed bus ride dropped us in a familiar casino only half-prepared for the unforgettable night.

Going to see The Killers at this point isn’t strictly about seeing the band these days. At some point during the Battle Born tour, traveling to shows turned into an event to see old friends, catchup with new ones, and chat about what was to come. But now, the familiarity runs so much deeper. Another trip to New Jersey means traveling home to see family. The faces of people you love so dearly, the faces of people you hate even more, and – on top of that – an unforgettable show by the boys.

The security guards remember you, the smell of the metal barricade brings back memories, you don’t need to reference signs in the casino to find your way back to the room even though casinos are strictly designed to confuse you, and everything feels just the same if not slightly changed. And that description fits the band perfectly. Brandon is still spry and in a dumb vaguely tropical-themed, sharp suit, though turning gray at the edges. Dave’s hair is curlier and he’s looking slightly older but in a refined way. Ronnie’s still got that cut-off metal-inspired tee on his tall frame and Mark is still gone. And everyone’s there, almost everyone you know and remember, and they feel those feelings too. We’re all home.

Kicking things off with “Human” and “Spaceman” instantly put me in a fun mood to dance, be happy, and have a great time with my friends. We were tucked in and surrounded by the best people and echoed all our “darlin’s” perfectly. The new piano ballad that may or may not be called “One More Song” or “All The Songs Have Been Written” turns out to be a sweet gem and “Bling” never stops being the song that resonates with me most. I audibly boo and fake vomit at Shadowplay (Brandon, please let Ian Curtis have a peaceful rest and let these laser beams lie next to him), but that’s to be expected.

When “Run For Cover” starts, I almost leave my body and realize that everything that’s happening is going to feel so portentous and meaningful one day, so I should simply bask in it as each moment passes. For the record, the song isn’t single material, but I feel lyrical resonance of “This River Is Wild” and Brandon’s “Diggin’ Up The Heart,” so can’t wait to hear that one on the album. “My List” is an unexpected sweet surprise that allowed for a much-needed stomp-clap combo.

Then, when “Dustland” started, something strange happened. Along with pretty much everyone in the crowd around me, I’ve seen that song live dozens of times. It’s always beautiful and meaningful and certainly a “moment” during the show. But for some reason, after hearing it for probably the thousandth time, I completely broke down before Brandon got to the chorus. I watched him sing along, watched Dave turn his face into the light, and watched Ronnie beat the skins in the shadows, and I lost it.

Isn’t it unbelievable to think that because of one band, a group of four guys, dozens of songs, and nothing but pure chance, my life managed to intersect with all these incredible people over a decade in such a way that we all stood in some event center in some casino in New Jersey right then and there? I met one of my best friends in the world on the sidewalk waiting to hear the premiere of “When You Were Young” 11 years ago. I met another one of my best friends on a message board when Sam’s Town was released. I’ve met people in California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Delaware, Connecticut, even Canada because of this band. And that doesn’t even include all the people who’ve come from elsewhere to meet me. San Diego, Chicago, Boston, Virginia, Seattle, London, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, Texas, Utah, Las Vegas. And some of these people will remain in my life for as long as I live, all because of The Killers. It’s unbelievable. I love this band so much and I’ll never be able to repay them for the life they incidentally gave to me. Thank you to every Victim that’s been a part of it.

Bottom line: I’ve seen The Killers live a lot – probably too many times – but I never take it for granted. Every show is special because it’s like coming home. We all get lost in the music and the lights and the familiar hand gestures and drum beats and guitar licks and bass lines. It’s not an overstatement to say that The Killers truly gave me the life I have – I would be nothing without the friends that stand by my side and we’d all be nothing without the four guys from Las Vegas that brought us together. Cheers, Victims. I love you.

Franz Ferdinand 6/5/17

(a) setlist

    1. Jacqueline
    2. No You Girls
    3. The Dark of the Matinee
    4. Paper Cages
    5. Do You Want To
    6. Walk Away
    7. Stand on the Horizon
    8. Lazy Boy
    9. The Fallen
    10. Michael
    11. Huck & Jim
    12. Take Me Out
    13. Ulysses

Encore:

  1. Always Ascending
  2. Darts of Pleasure
  3. Love Illumination
  4. This Fire

(b) highlights

  • Franz. motherflipping. Ferd. i. nand.
  • “Stand on the Horizon”! “Darts of Pleasure”!!!! Also, every other song.
  • Warsaw is kind of a fantastic venue and slowly become a favorite of mine
  • The crowd was a joy for the most part; awesome Franz fans were surrounding us with only one sour grape and everyone was so, so happy to be seeing these guys for the first non-festival real show since late 2013. That is way too long to go without them
  • Let’s all use this opportunity to give Bob Hardy a shoutout – what a bass player, what a gem, what a guy
  • throwback to that brief month in mid-2013 when I sang that bit from “Ulysses” every day: “laaaa la la la la, Ulysseeeeees” – what a time
  • Alex ripped his shirt sometime before the encore and like, just kept playing and his entire right side was exposed and it was so punk rock, but in a Scottish art school kind of way.

(c) lowlights

  • one crappy person in the crowd and that’s it; this show was a gem

(d) overall thoughts

I will never as long as I live not love Franz Ferdinand. Even when they’ve put out music I wasn’t crazy about, I still liked it and respected it more than other groups I like. Everything Franz has ever done has been deliberate, artful, and with joy – what more could a fan ask for?

This night at the Warsaw was just fantastic, even including the fact that there were two openers. Alex Kapranos, forever a joyful and hammy frontman, was quick on his toes and jacknifed more than a few scissor kicks while playing guitar. His hair is long and his face looks a bit older than we remember him, but the whole package is still there. You can tell that he’s still revitalized by the music they play and really enjoys himself up there. Bob Hardy on bass is the textbook definition of solid bassist – not very quick to take to the spotlight but whose presence would be immediately noticeable if he were gone. He has an air of Mark Stoermer in his playing, but with a bit more of a smile and I love it.

The obvious standouts in the set – “Do You Want To,” “The Fallen,” and “Michael,” to name a few – don’t make the tracks before and after pale in comparison, but instead bolster the performance. With red shoes tapping on hardwood floor, Alex remained spry even through the unbearably fast songs and thoughtfully measured during the ballads. I could’t help but let my mind wander during their performance, asking myself what could’ve and might’ve been if America had embraced this band in the same way they took to Arctic Monkeys in the last decade. As I mentioned after seeing Franz at Gov Ball, their influence is still resonating throughout the indie genre to this day; Franz might suitably be the grandfathers of the modern new wave genre, but how many people actually acknowledge that?

In a world where The Strokes are somehow worshipped for creating the post-punk revival, I constantly ask myself where Franz Ferdinand sits. Even if they never quite get the recognition they deserve in their own musical lifetimes, I have no doubt that their forebears will remember their lasting effect. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard an audience sing guitar riffs aloud and two of those times were when Franz played “Take Me Out.” That means something. this band means something, their music means something, and the memories they forge with every performance of their timeless songs will forever mean something, if only to me.

 

Bottom line: Franz Ferdinand are nothing but treasures. If I could ever in some way make a mark on how we conceive of new wave alternative music, or the post-punk revival of the 21st century, I will be the first pallbearer and light to illuminate the works of Franz. I might hope that they forever live on, but, luckily, I know their music always will.

Franz Ferdinand, Zane Lowe 6/4/17

(i) lineup

1a. Zane Lowe
2b. Franz Ferdinand

(1a) (Zane Lowe) setlist

    1. To quote Zane, “I’m doing 80 songs in 40 minutes, so let’s get it, New York!!!”
    2. does it matter what the songs were?

(1b) highlights

  • Zane Lowe indirectly helped shape my entire music taste and he certainly has no idea

(1c) lowlights

  • Zane Lowe indirectly helped shape my entire music taste and he certainly has no idea

(1d) overall thoughts

  • This image below includes the only important takeaways from the performance

IMG_20170617_004929

Bottom line: Zane Lowe was a Radio 1 DJ and legendary host of MTV’s Gonzo hour interviewing people I loved, and now resides at Apple Music interviewing dumb people I hate. He made me dance at Gov Ball, even when I thought he looked dumb. Good guy. Dumb banter, but good guy.

 

(2a) (Franz Ferdinand’s) setlist

    1. Jacqueline
    2. No You Girls
    3. The Dark of the Matinee
    4. Paper Cages
    5. Do You Want To
    6. The Fallen
    7. Walk Away
    8. Love Illumination
    9. Michael
    10. Always Ascending
    11. Take Me Out
    12. Ulysses
    13. This Fire

(2b) highlights

  • FRANZ!!!!!!
  • but but FRANZ!!!!
  • that setlist. like. what. Jacqueline. Dark of the Matinee. Michael. Ulysses. All of it.
  • Hit after hit after hit after hit, this band NEVER QUIT.
  • if you’ve never seen or heard a festival crowd sing along to probably one of the greatest guitar riffs of the last 30 years in a huge festival crowd, then you’ve never seen “Take Me Out” and you’ve never LIVED

(2c) lowlights

  • the first three rows of people were all there for some tool ass DJ named Logic and every bro in his crowd made me wanna commit suicide; none of them deserved to even be in Franz’s presence

(2d) overall thoughts

 

Franz Ferdinand were one of the first bands I ever listened to and truly loved. I remember having their debut Franz Ferdinand and 2005 hit You Could Have It So Much Better rotating in my CD player, along with Hot Fuss and the Hot Hot Heat album that came out that year. Their first two albums were so incredibly formative for me that it’s entirely possible my life would’ve gone a different direction had I not discovered them. That’s powerful.

Despite being a huge fan since Day 1, this show was only my second time seeing Franz. For some reason, they tend not to make it out to NYC – or American in general – all that often. The first time I saw them was only in 2013 and I still think that performance is one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. At Governor’s Ball, my friends and I were close to the stage, but trapped in a sea of non-Franz fans. I later learned that nearly everyone behind us, going back nearly 40 rows – which is notable considering they weren’t on a main stage – were there to see them, but at the time…it really felt like an intimate concert just for us. And I swear I’ll never forget it.

The interesting thing about desperately loving music that was popular over a decade ago is recognizing when that music, and the people that create them, start to feel their age. Franz Ferdinand absolutely captured a musical moment in time when they hit the scene in the early 2000s. Some people might even say that they created the scene, and I wouldn’t disagree with that. A bunch of art school kids, Franz transformed the post-punk revival into something that was dirty and gritty and from New York (a la Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Strokes) and made it something cool, slick, arty, dance-y, and fun. 90% of indie alternative bands out today would not exist if it weren’t for Franz Ferdinand and I will fight anyone who says different.

Opening with “Jacqueline,” “No You Girls,” and “Dark of the Matinee” perfectly reveals how resonating this band’s influence has been not only on music, but for fans. Even without having heard “Jacqueline” in years, aside from occasionally coming up on shuffle, I didn’t hesitate in the slightest when it was time to scream-sing, “It’s always better on holiday, so much better on holiday, that’s why we only work when we need the money.” I was back in my parents car with my CD player and headphones wrapped over my ears with those orange and brown, cracked CD cases.

Bottom line: Franz Ferdinand is iconic, not simply in what they did for music and the genre, but for their undeniable ability to bring joy and showmanship to performance. When other bands have found it easy to play their back catalog straightforwardly, Franz elevates their songs to classic status by throwing themselves completely into the sound. I pray this band never goes away, but if they do, their music will live on and there’s nothing more comforting than that.

Phoenix, Local Natives 6/3/17

(i) lineup

1a. Local Natives
2b. Phoenix

(1a) (Local Natives) setlist

    1. Jellyfish
    2. Wide Eyes
    3. You and I
    4. Airplanes
    5. Colombia
    6. I Saw You Close Your Eyes
    7. Ultralight Beam (Kanye West cover)
    8. Past Lives
    9. Fountain of Youth
    10. Dark Days
    11. Who Knows, Who Cares
    12. Sun Hands

(1b) highlights

  • first time seeing Local Natives who I’ve casually enjoyed since around 2010 when they first hit the scene and man, they were great
  • unexpectedly surprised by not only their stage presence but ability to keep such intimate tracks feel lively and awake in a festival format
  • normally I get annoyed when lead singers decide to crowd surf solely for the sake of making a set suddenly more interesting, but when Taylor Rice came into the crowd twice during the set, it felt so deliberate and genuinely fun
  • their lighting and simply yet pretty stage production was beautiful; it perfectly set the scene for these fellow Angelenos
  • the sun setting around the time their set was ending, and the dust was picking up at their stage – it reminded me of my home in LA in the best way

(1c) lowlights

  • nothing comes to mind – they came out and did exactly what they needed to

(1d) overall thoughts

Local Natives popped up in my life when I was having a difficult time a little less than a decade ago. I always liked them even though they were a bunch of hipsters from Silver Lake. They had goofy mustaches and their music videos looked like Urban Outfitters, sure. But unlike the usual pack of hacks out there, Local Natives also had the tunes.

And after this performance, I realized that they have the presence and performing chops too. Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer take turns on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards, harmonizing in that sweet spot of Beach Boys-inspired and pre-folk explosion that happened because of half-ass bands like Lumineers and Mumford and Sons. Local Natives’ songs are sweet and floaty and fit right in around the Coachella Valley, sure, but they have a lasting effect because they come from some place real. “You and I” practically floats across the stage and dances in the light, and is there a sweeter sunset-y singalong than “Who Knows, Who Cares”? You don’t want to miss these guys live.

 

Bottom line: To the uncultured eye, Local Natives might get lost in the sea of same-y folksy LA-transplants, but they’re so much more than that. Their stage presence, resonating harmonies, and purposeful guitar work really makes them memorable and standout.

 

(2a) (Phoenix’s) setlist

    1. Ti Amo
    2. Lasso
    3. Entertainment
    4. Lisztomania
    5. J-Boy
    6. Long Distance Call
    7. Fences
    8. Try To Be Cool / Drakkar Noir
    9. Lovelife
    10. S.O.S. In Bel Air
    11. Role Model
    12. Girlfriend
    13. Love Like A Sunset Part 1 / Bankrupt! / Love Like A Sunset Part 2
    14. If I Ever Feel Better / Funky Squaredance
    15. Armistice
    16. Rome
    17. Fior di Latte
    18. Meant
    19. 1901
    20. Ti Amo Di Piu

(2b) highlights

  • Phoenix!!!! Those dudes have such class, style, and grace – so damn French
  • yo, I don’t know if Warren Fu is the man responsible, but Phoenix have the dopest stage set-up I’ve seen in recently memory. A giant panel of mirrors is all you need for endless joy and entertainment
  • everyone in Phoenix feels so refined and older than their contemporaries, and I’m so into it
  • have you ever heard a band write so many catchy earworms that don’t make you wanna die? me either.
  • Love. Like. A. Sunset. enough said.

(2c) lowlights

  • they could’ve played for another hour and I would’ve been into it
  • the crowd could’ve and should’ve been bigger – I blame the fact that Childish Gambino was playing the opposite stage at the same time

(2d) overall thoughts

I first encountered Phoenix sometime in late 2005, early 2006. I undoubtedly saw their name in fine print somewhere in NME or Uncut or Mojo or Spin, and wrote their name down as a band to not forget. To me, they were always that “fun, French band,” and then somehow, just when I forgot about them, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix dropped into the world and every car commercial ever was never the same.

When Phoenix got huge, I had no idea how to respond. What happens when a bunch of older dudes finally hit it off with their fifth album? Luckily, Phoenix didn’t completely lose their minds and instead decided to put out pure joy with Ti Amo, and brought all that passion to the stage. Words can’t do their production justice; few bands can so easily meld sound, aesthetics, and production into such a complete package. You watch Phoenix perform one live song on their stage and you suddenly feel like you understand them as a band. New Order is another band that comes to mind that really nails this combination of performance and art, but no one’s doing it like Phoenix today.

There’s few things I respect more than when big bands headline at festivals and skip over the obvious tracks to play deep cuts and objectively “unsuitable” tracks. “Love Like A Sunset” doesn’t belong at any festival but a song never felt so appropriate for a summer night on Randall’s Island than that one. The reds, oranges, and yellows washed over the crowd in real-time and in the reflection of the giant mirror that framed the performers. Yeah, everyone danced when “Lisztomonia” started, but everyone felt when “Love Like A Sunset” hit like a sonic boom.

 

Bottom line: Phoenix are not only clearly impeccable songwriters, but they’ve manage to create the perfect marriage of sound, aesthetic, and art that elevates every performance to another place. Their contemporaries better recognize what Phoenix brings to the world, because – from where I’m sitting – it’s nothing but light.

Lorde 6/2/17

(a) setlist

    1. Tennis Court
    2. Magnets (Disclosure cover)
    3. 400 Lux
    4. Buzzcut Season
    5. Ribs
    6. Sober
    7. Sober II (Melodrama)
    8. Hang With Me (Robyn Cover) (Feat. Jack Antonoff)
    9. Liability (Feat. Jack Antonoff)
    10. Royals
    11. Perfect Places (Feat. Jack Antonoff)
    12. Team
    13. Green Light

(b) highlights

  • LORDE!!!!! This. girl. is. FAB.U.LOUS.
  • Seriously, can I be friends with Lorde. I know she has several posses and what not, but like…I can contribute.
  • First time seeing with witchy girl and I am SO on board with everything
  • The clear, glass shipping container that was the focus of her stage production was so oddly unique and clever. The dancers, the lights, how she interacted with the stage – whoever’s job it is to conceive of that stuff needs a raise
  • looking back on the setlist right now, I can’t believe she only played 13 tracks – I felt like we spent the whole weekend together; everything was perfectly paced and I totally loved how many new tracks she threw in. I’m not here for singles-only sets and neither is Lorde
  • there was a group of young 20-somethings/late teens standing near me and my friends and they were low-key crying throughout the set and even though I felt a lot older than them that night, I just wanna say “same”
  • this completely accidental and beautiful moment during the final bridge of “Team” when all the lights were flashing, the sun was finally setting over the horizon, Lorde is singing “we’re on each other’s team,” and then I look up into the sky and this perfect pack of ducks are flying in a V formation right over the stage. it was so bizarre and beautiful and oddly perfect.

(c) lowlights

  • I’m not exactly a fan of Jack Antonoff so I thought his presence was a bit much, but honestly, Lorde loves him and he didn’t really talk, so he was the perfect accessory to her fantastic performance

(d) overall thoughts

Like most people, I discovered Lorde after “Royals” dropped out of practically the sky above. But it wasn’t until I heard a few years ago that David Bowie was a fan before he died, so I knew it was time to start paying attention. I never watch the Grammy’s or generally acknowledge its presence, but for some reason, I really remember the year that Lorde won and how she so awkwardly accepted her award, all dressed in black, her hair long and curly, and sort of ran off-stage. Her inherent authenticity – a word I dislike and rarely use – totally killed me.

A bit after, I got into Pure Heroine and realized that this chick was special and couldn’t miss her at Gov Ball. She walked out wearing a lace veil over her face slowly singing the refrain to “Green Light” and pretty much the rest is history. Dressed in black and lace and heels I would’ve died in, she danced across the stage like she owned it and everyone was at her whim. She opened with my favorite song “Tennis Court,” which I still feel like is such a bizarre song for a pop singer to have as a single off their first album. The melody is so unusual, the imagery is almost mismatched with Lorde’s aesthetic, yet everything about it works so well. It’s the interesting contradictions that make Lorde so special. What even is this girl? She’s herself.

Her banter in-between songs was so genuine and authentic, I swore that we were old friends. The stage and festival grounds became a very, very large bed where we all chatted at the largest and most intimate pajama party ever. And I mean that in the least condescending way possible. Lorde is ethereal, young, fresh, weird, and everything you wish you were at her age. The tracks she played from her new album feel powerful, meaningful, and I won’t be one bit surprised when Melodrama completely blows up the world.

Bottom line: Lorde is one of the most authentic performers in recent memory; her unique vulnerability and fresh perspective almost makes me wish I could relive my high school years if only so she could be there to guide me.