Live Review: Lorde, George Maple

22 November 2017 | 12:46 pm | Uppy Chatterjee

"The forecourt goes up in raucous cheers when she congratulates us on the result of the recent same-sex marriage survey and drapes a rainbow flag across her shoulders."

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The sun is still setting when George Maple comes out looking like the chicest damn '70s aerobics instructor you've ever seen (she's wearing a metallic blue and red Gucci headband, hello!).

She's got no backing band, but she's manning the stage and tracks like Lover and Sticks & Horses with no issue at all. She's reminiscent of a young Tina Arena. For someone with such a powerhouse voice and superstar value though, her show could really be elevated with some back-up dancers and a band. Though she's dropping some killer dance moves, it feels very karaoke-y when the beat drops and she's dancing on her own.

A vintage TV crackles to life on the LCDs, playing a montage of clips of abstract things, goofy '90s Julia Roberts and Lorde herself, while a neon spaceman is wheeled out and suddenly, there she is in a sparkly, two-piece, frilled tracksuit. It's Homemade Dynamite straight off the bat! The crowd is super young and loving life in the pit, singing along, making explosion sounds of their own, and revelling in our Lorde and saviour. The neon spaceman changes colour to each song - it's bright red for Disclosure collab Magnets. Lorde looks like she's having a blast - it's her biggest Sydney show to date, and it's in front of the glowing Sydney Opera House "and slightly creepy Luna Park face", no less. She looks so stoked! There's a grin on her face between lyrics and she's got her Adidas sneakers on for optimal boogieing.

Lorde's rocking a super slight American accent these days - maybe it's from working so closely with collaborator Jack Antonoff? - but her signature rasp is at its best. Wielding it as she does, she conveys so much emotion, a prerequisite for her incredibly personal songs. You can tell the crowd are so comfortable and at home here with Lorde - she brings out a glockenspiel to play the intro to Buzzcut Season and in the pin-drop silence, someone yells, "you're doing amazing, sweetie!", a beloved quote and meme from Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Another time, the camera pans across a few guys enthusiastically voguing for the LCD screen - someone screams "yas queen!" in approval. It's a good vibe in the audience.

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The Louvre is a highlight, Lorde coming out in a beige sparkly gown and bare feet in front of the cascading neon flowers. She looks like she's in the Garden Of Eden, with her dancer in all sparkly black spinning like a ballerina. We're getting a healthy mix of Pure Heroine and Melodrama, almost one for one, hearing songs like Tennis Court, Sober, The Louvre, Team and 400 Lux. Liability allows her to get personal a little bit, and the forecourt goes up in raucous cheers when she congratulates us on the result of the recent same-sex marriage survey and drapes a rainbow flag across her shoulders, spontaneously singing a few bars of Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Throughout the show we're treated to more Super 8 film on the LCDs, of teenagers dancing, late nights in car parks and blurry underwater shots in a variety of colours, almost like a visual representation of Lorde's own synesthesia - all narrated by Lorde herself. In total throughout the show, the stage crew wheel out three ridiculously delicate neon signs (there's old mate spaceman, a huge flowering tree and a shooting star, all of which shine different colours) and Lorde goes in for three costume changes (the aforementioned two-piece, the sparkly beige dress, and a see-through green tracksuit in a weird shiny material).

She sends a special shout out to triple j tonight too, saying they've supported "us" from the very start. She's literally lying down on the stage like she's on her bedroom floor at this point, and she shares a stripped-back "bootleg Like A Version" cover of Hunters & Collectors' Throw Your Arms Around Me

Like Lorde, tonight is for the young people just discovering who they are, and Supercut seems to epitomise youth euphoria in all its heightened emotions and the highs and lows of heartbreak. Royals turns the crowd into a throbbing mass: it's super funny (and endearing, of course) hearing the crowd attempting either end of Lorde's huge range, but the song we first fell in love with takes us back. And finally, Green Light is an absolutely ecstatic closer, green fireworks and all, with the entire floor turning into a mosh pit and dancing like no one was watching. But Lorde was watching, because she was dancing the exact same way.