After “California,” Lorde blew a kiss to the crowd, earning a fresh wave of loud cheers.
“Oh Detroit,” she said, “it’s so fucking good to be here – I’ve missed you.”
For the New Zealand pop star, it was a triumphant return to the Motor City on April 5th. Last time on the Melodrama World Tour, Lorde played venues such as Little Caesars Arena. This time around, she opted for a slightly more intimate setting, thrilling the crowd on hand at the packed Masonic Temple. Here are five moments that stood out from the set:
The Set Design
The set made an immediate impression, with elements that evoked the themes of Lorde’s latest album, Solar Power. The singer’s silhouette was illuminated over a bright yellow backdrop for set opener “Sun King,” and an enormous orb loomed in the background, changing colors to match each song’s motif.
The central part of the stage, which also featured a large stairwell that reached skyward, acted as a rotating turntable of sorts, giving an additional dynamism to Lorde’s already impressive stage presence.
“I think some of you might’ve been listening to this song for 10 years now,” Lorde teased while introducing her Pure Heroine-era hit “Ribs.” Longtime fans were certainly well represented, as the crowd bounced along to the track’s pulsing start and the singer’s impeccable, accelerating vocal cadence.
Lorde followed this with her Melodrama favorite “The Louvre” (also its tour debut). Notably, this was one of the spots of divergence from the tour opener in Nashville, whose set featured “Hard Feelings” in this slot.
“I know I have some very strong feelings I need to get out,” Lorde remarked at the start of the song. “If you have the same, I invite you to do that in the breakdown of the song.” The audience did just that, unleashing another roaring singalong.
Midway through the set, most of Lorde’s backing band briefly left the stage, leaving just the singer and her pianist. For this sequence, which featured “Dominoes,” “Loveless,” and “Liability,” she reclined on the stairwell, letting her voice shine over these pared-down arrangements, especially the powerful coda of the latter.
The third phase of the show impressed with hit after hit, particularly for recent singles “Mood Ring” and “Solar Power.”
“This is a song I wrote completely alone,” she explained about the latter track. “It’s really quiet like a secret till it’s not. I need you to help me whisper.”
True to form, the track started slow and steady, but as the full force of the backing band kicked in (after the “blink three times when you feel it kicking in” line), the crowd erupted in joyful movement as confetti rained down from above.
Elsewhere in this section, more cuts from Melodrama (“Sober,” “Supercut,” “Perfect Places,” “Green Light”) electrified the crowd. The fans eagerly clapped along to the thump of the drum beat and Lorde’s soaring vocals of “Supercut” and bounced in sync with the singer on the cathartic “Green Light.”
A Different Closer
After Lorde left the stage following “Oceanic Feeling,” the screams reached a fever pitch. She returned quickly and excited the crowd with another Pure Heroine time capsule. First, she powered through “Royals,” the debut single that started it all, to another massive singalong from the fans. Then, “Team” got its emphatic tour debut to close out the set (another difference from the Nashville set).
Earlier in the show, Lorde reflected on playing live again and “revisiting all these moments in life I chose to crystallize in song.”
“I really love this city,” she said. “I don’t know what I did to deserve people like you in my life, but I’m so grateful.”