A regal performance for Lorde on the Plains

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde performed a show filled with her hits and danced constantly with her backup group.

Lorde required three airplanes to bring her all the way from New Zealand to Quebec City with her entourage to perform at the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ) on July 13. She and her backup dancers were the closing act of an evening of concerts showcasing female artists.

Lorde, wearing a striking yellow dress, gave an exceptional performance. She even took the time to walk among the crowd and talk to them. She filled her 90-minute set with hits from her two studio albums, Pure Heroine and Melodrama. She mentioned that she was honoured to be on the same stage as Cyndi Lauper, who performed before her.

“I always felt that I had a real kinship with Canadians every time I’ve come here. I was 16 when I first came here,” said Lorde. “I’ve played a lot of shows where people are waiting for other groups. We are here to hang out. I love it. You have no idea how it feels to see a group like you and to hear you sing my songs back to me.

“Now, Quebec, ‘Liability’ is a very lonely little song. This song was written after someone told me that they did not like me very much. I just had to get out of [New Zealand]. I went to California and wrote this song in a beautiful studio surrounded by green. It helped me get out of it.” She also performed “Royals,” “Green Light,” “Perfect Places” and “Tennis Court.”

“Me and my friends are Lorde fans. We found it odd to see many people leave so early,” said Tom Johnson, a tourist from Maine. “During the Cyndi Lauper concert, we were like sardines, and halfway through Lorde’s show, we had room to dance. The show was great. Lorde has lots of energy! She and her dancers moved very fast!”

At 21, Lorde, whose real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, has two Grammys, two Brit Awards, 10 New Zealand Music Awards and a Golden Globe nomination. In 2013, she was the youngest solo artist to achieve a number one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 16 years, with “Royals.” She was also was listed in Time as one of the most influential teenagers in the world in 2014 and was named on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list. Her debut album Pure Heroine garnered positive reviews for her depiction of suburban adolescence. It topped the national charts in New Zealand and Australia, and was number three on the U.S. Billboard 200.