Lorde has the power

SIENA YATES
Last updated 13:25 08/09/2013

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REVIEW: There's been a lot of hype about Lorde, the 16 year old from Auckland, writes, sings, and tops charts in her spare time.

Part of me was expecting to tell you that it was all misplaced. That the Lana Del Rey comparisons were true and her live performance was painfully awkward to watch.

But I couldn't be happier to report that the only fair comparison between the two is that where Lana Del Rey tried and failed to find success, Lorde has found it, brought it out, changed it up and made it better.

And what I witnessed last night was nothing short of unbelievable, a night which bore testament to talent and appeal of Lorde, whose success is fast becoming a milestone in New Zealand music history.

Gaggles of excited fans lined the street to get through the doors to Vector Arena, braving the cold and rain. From primary school kids to senior citizens, Black Sabbath shirt wearers to suspender wearing hipsters - Lorde definitely draws a diverse crowd.

I know what some of you will be thinking, and the 16 year old said herself: how hard is it to sell out a concert that's free?

But I have no doubt we would've been just as full a force no matter the price.

Despite her age and ridiculously fast ascent to fame and fortune, Lorde took over the stage with an air of mystery, a world of confidence, and vocals awe-inspiringly on point.

Opening with her hit Bravado, from the Love Club EP, she was all curly locks, pouty lips and sultry eyes as she stalked the stage in a surprisingly endearing mix of eclectic dancing and an almost predatory swagger.

But there were rare moments when the crowd cheered or sang along that she broke her carefully constructed character and it became evident that the 16 year old was stoked to be playing the arena in her hometown.

If her ''old soul'' wasn't so obvious in her music it definitely comes out on stage. She performs like someone with 10 times her experience, her presence reminiscent of the likes of Alanis Morissette, Annie Lennox and Stevie Nicks all in one. But don't get me wrong, she is unapologetically herself, even if it doesn't curry favour with an expectant crowd.

She refuses to bring people on stage or do encores at the risk of being "corny", she swears, she covers her face with her hair, and she took a massive risk playing songs from her impending album that haven't been heard here yet.

While tracks like "Love Club" and "Royals" were obviously the crowd favourites, the real treats were in the things we weren't expecting.

The new tracks which showed a whole new side of the artist, incorporating different styles and mediums and the too-good-to-be-true lyricism we've already come to expect from her.

And when the set was done, she swaggered off stage without too much fanfare, and that was it.

It's a big call, but I'm going to make it. I don't think New Zealand has ever had an artist this big. Not only for her age, or genre, but in general.

She respects music, those who have come before, the industry, yet she plays by her own rules, she keeps an air of mystery around herself and she's more than love songs and club hits.

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While the world obsesses over boy bands, twerking and break up ballads, Lorde is the kind of artist who has the power to redefine pop and she's taking over.

- Stuff

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