Lorde at Xcel Energy
Run The Jewels Setlist
Tove Styrke Setlist
03/24/2018 Lincoln, NE Pinnacle Bank Arena
03/25/2018 Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
03/27/2018 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena
03/28/2018 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
03/29/2018 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
04/02/2018 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
04/03/2018 Boston, MA TD Garden
04/04/2018 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
04/06/2018 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
04/07/2018 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
04/08/2018 Washington, DC The Anthem
04/12/2018 Miami, FL AmericanAirlines Arena
04/14/2018 Duluth, GA Infinite Energy Center
04/15/2018 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
05/26/2018 All Points East Festival
05/29/2018 St. Petersburg, Ledoviy Dvorets
05/31/2018 Moscow, Russia Crocus City Hall
06/02/2018 Primavera Sound
06/07/2018 NOS Primavera Sound
07/13/2018 Festival D'été de Québec
While not much actual melodrama occurred, there were years of built up anticipation and being a Friday night, a lot of dancing-
New Zealand artist Lorde finally made her Twin Cities area live debut as the Melodrama Tour made a stop in front of over 9,000 people at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.
The good thing about this three-act evening was that the early arrivers were awarded with a short but entertaining performance by Swedish dance pop artist Tove Styrke, in support of latest full-length, Sway (RCA/ Sony Records) while the bad news (for other cities) is that this would be her last appearance on the tour.
Beats and music were minimalistic, though songs like ‘Mistakes’ were undeniably catchy with Styrke even covering the headliner, on her version of Lorde’s ‘Liability;’ calling it “one of my favorite songs in the world” and done mid-set. “This is a dream come true for me” Styrke gushed, happy that so many had shown up early, swaying in their seats for ‘Change my Mind’ and singing “up, up, up, up” along with Styrke on her closing song about an instant crush, ‘Say My Name’.
The mood then completely turned harder and darker as hip-hop duo Run the Jewels took the stage for their forty-five minute set, beginning with the not-so-humble intro music of ‘We are the Champions’. “Shouts out to Kirby Puckett- we’re gonna burn this… place to the ground!” Killer Mike decreed, he and rapper/producer El-P stalked the stage as DJ Trackstar worked the ones and twos, beginning with their eponymously-named theme song.
‘Legend Has It’ from the group’s latest, Run the Jewels 3 (self-released) was played early on, and familiar to many from its use in the Black Panther trailer. “To the parents that brought your children, we’d like to formally apologize’, El-P joked to the soccer mom chaperones, maybe a little put off by the language and lyrical themes, while the rest of the crowd cheered “R-T-J!” as he promised a “blockbuster night” before playing the song of the same name.
The stage was then laid mostly bare as lights dimmed and the intro music of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up that Hill’ signaled the arrival of Lorde and her dancers for a hundred-minute headlining set in support of second full-length Melodrama (Lava/Republic Records), managing to work in every song from the new record, as well as several older favorites.
The intro music was appropriate, as the first part of the show resembled a Kate Bush performance, with leotard-clad dancers expressively interpreting the songs through movement both inside and outside of the so-called “terrarium”, a clear-walled shipping container-sized box which rose from the floor and would elevate and swing in the air with cabled support.
Her trio of backing musicians literally stayed in the shadows for the show, with the artist shedding her flowing coat early, even using the inside of the terrarium for a quick wardrobe change, instead of ducking backstage. “I’ve never been to your part of the world before… there is already such a good vibe in this room.” Before 2013 hit, ‘Tennis Court’ the twenty-one year old born Ella Yelich-O’Connor said “Friday is good because… Friday means we’re gonna dance a bunch!” which the mostly female audience was happy to comply with.
She reprised her Disclosure collaboration on ‘Magnets’, ‘Ribs’ recounted the anxieties and emotions of her teenage years set at in a party scene, and the crowd dancing got more involved on ‘The Louvre’ ,as Lorde and band “broadcast the boom boom boom”.
Lorde & Tove Styrke
art by vu
‘Liability’ was sung for the second time this night, leading to the band returning in full for the somber, organ-driven (sort-of) new album title track, ‘Sober II (Melodrama)’ followed by the infectious ‘Supercut’ with the singer emoting “in my head, I do everything right”.
The last three songs of the main set built increasingly on their own thrill factor- the breakthrough hit ‘Royals’ had everyone singing along, ‘Perfect Places’ invited the audience to come along on a journey, and ‘Green Light’ took things to the next level, with a smiling Lorde dancing about cannon confetti and appropriate green lighting, calling the song a “sort of chemical experiment” as she introduced it.
The three-song encore started in a revelatory way, with just the singer and her Akai MPD24 MIDI Pad controller (less than $100 on eBay) taking things very back-to-basics, starting with the spelling lesson of ‘Loveless’, then going into the new and unreleased ‘Precious Metals’.
2013’s ‘Team’ ended things with further crowd dancing and Lorde singing “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands in the air ”(which found everyone doing just that, for some reason,“…so there”). “St. Paul, good night, we love you!” Lorde beamed, taking one last bow before dashing off stage.
With fans still screaming and applauding, Lorde made things worth the five-year long wait to see her live locally, with the crowd and singer sharing those musical moments of being “on each other’s team”.
(click on any photo below to enlarge and see full image)
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