Live Review: Lorde, George Maple

27 November 2017 | 2:32 pm | Michael Prebeg

"'There's been a lot of firsts for me this year, I can plank for a very long time now!' she jokes."

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George Maple knows exactly how to work the stage. The confident performer is radiant in a red ensemble with white knee-high boots and Gucci headband. She moves around to her R&B-tinged electronic music with a strong, hard-hitting dance routine that quickly attracts our attention. "This is such an emotional experience being here," she says, standing in front of the huge audience at this sold-out show. Maple just released her debut full-length album Lover a few weeks ago and tonight she sings a song she's never sung live before called Hold Me By The Waist. A feisty cover of Beyonce's Diva quickly follows this seductive track before Maple finishes big with Hero, which she dedicates to all the lovers. "Love is love, right!?" she shouts and this empowering synth-pop number becomes a perfect anthem for the moment.

A neon outline of an astronaut rolls out onto the stage and begins to flicker. Lorde explodes on stage with Homemade Dynamite. "Welcome to the Melodrama world tour! You look bloody beautiful, mate!" she shouts. "This is a show where you've gotta dance, Melbourne. Are you gonna dance!?" We promisingly shout excitedly back at her and Lorde dives right into the perfect dance number, Magnets (Disclosure feat Lorde).

Contemporary dancers join in on Hard Feelings to add another layer of emotional depth to the live performance while an old television broadcasts an artistic visual of the singer on the stage-left screen. "Don't you wish you could go inside a heart?" Lorde asks over a recorded voiceover interlude as the visuals change and she continues to set the scene, talking about finding love in the Parisian summer with The Louvre. A neon heart-shaped arch is revealed, which Lorde stands beneath.

"Holy shit, this year has been so fluorescent for me!" Lorde remarks and to say it's been a big year for the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter would be an understatement. The 21-year-old reveals she wrote Ribs at just 16, terrified of growing up, but adds that now, five years later, she's come such a long way. "There's been a lot of firsts for me this year, I can plank for a very long time now!" she jokes. Before delving into the vulnerable Liability, she opens up about how hard it can be under the spotlight sometimes. Although this song is about one of those times when Lorde felt completely alone and sad, she still manages to build in a part where everyone can sing along with her in unison. "Thank you for being here for this little weirdo," Lorde says. The Bowl lights up and the crowd joins in for the stunning, relatable ballad.

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"I wanna do a cover of a song I love. Do you wanna hear something slow and quiet?" Lorde continues before presenting I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, which she reveals is one of her favourite songs about really wanting someone. The acoustic performance is mashed-up with 400 Lux to really make it her own. A neon shooting star moves into place on the stage just in time for crowd favourite Royals.

Tonight's show is the last of this tour, and for the whole year, so it's a pretty special. "Thank you for closing out what has been such a beautiful year for me," Lorde acknowledges. "This is the last time we'll perform this year so sing it out in fucking style!" We channel every last bit of energy we have left in our bodies to get into Green Light as confetti explodes overhead. The crowd lingers with hopes of an encore. Lorde delivers Loveless to end the sensational, unforgettable show.