Ten thousand adoring fans gave Kiwi superstar Lorde a royal homecoming last night in Auckland in her first performance at home after winning two Grammys.
The 17-year-old singer and Auckland local, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor, kept the sell-out crowd waiting before unleashing into track Bravado from her debut album Heroine, to ecstatic screams from her fans.
Dressed in her customary black on black, she jolted around the stage to now-world-famous dance moves.
After three songs she flicked back her mop of curls and addressed the hometown crowd: “Auckland, it is so good to see you! This is for real insane.”
“We may have got the most beautiful night of the year. No big deal,” she said as the sun went down on a cloudless Auckland night.
It really is hard to believe she is only 17. Her stage presence and confidence belies her years. Her performance was polished and unique, her voice powerful and subtle.
And for all the discussion of fear in her songs, the now multi-Grammy-winning singer was supremely confident in front of thousands of fans.
And it was the song Royals, for which Lorde won best pop solo performance and song of the year at the Grammy Awards on Monday, that set her fans wild as they sang along with the new superstar.
“This is so beautiful,” Lorde told the crowd.
She also said: "I am sorry for swearing but I won two f...ing Grammys."
The diverse crowd showed the huge appeal Lorde has in New Zealand.
Young children posed with cardboard cutouts of the singer and four 11-year-old girls, due to start intermediate school tomorrow, screamed with excitement.
“We watched her at the Grammy’s. People think that New Zealanders can’t do that much,” said Zoe Martin.
“So much woman power,” said Zia Walters.
Her success is inspiration to all young Kiwis, said a pair of parents.
“I think it is awesome. It shows kids they can do anything they put their mind to,” said Craig West-Hall, who was chaperoning his two children.
“I think it is really encouraging for the young people of New Zealand,” said Megan West-Hall.
Hours earlier, after she returned from her Grammy Awards triumph, Lorde unleashed a tirade of criticism at media waiting for her at Auckland International Airport.
Lorde and her family were met this morning by crowds of fans and members of the media, eager to catch a glimpse of the double Grammy winning star.
But she took to Twitter with five angry posts about her welcome home.
Members of the media almost pushed her and her family over while trying to get close to her, she said.
"nz media almost pushed over myself and my family at the airport this morning in order to get their shots. bit of a sad welcome if i'm honest"
The singer has made no secret of her dislike of the spectacle that comes with stardom, but said "it just sucks when you see that in your tiny home country where you previously felt safe".
"i understand that people of note are supposedly fair game for everyone to photograph and film but that doesn't make it acceptable".
The "constant, often lecherous gaze that i'm subjected to in this industry" was different to the attention she got from fans, which she loved, she said.
The tweets have since been removed from her account.
- © Fairfax NZ News