The Armory has really been fulfilling it’s purpose lately as an arena-level stage for many pop acts. If there’s been one sign that things are returning to normal, it’s been the sight of superfans camping outside the doors of the venue. This month alone, The Armory hosted Olivia Rodrigo, Hippo Campus, and now to top off the end of the month, New Zealand’s pop superstar, Lorde.
Lorde’s show sold out almost immediately when it was announced back in June of 2021, and since then, The Armory has had a “sold out” sign pasted across the image when advertising the show on it’s rotating marquee. For many, this was the hottest ticket of the last few years, and as grateful as we were to have Lorde perform here from across the world, it seemed as though she was even more grateful to have us as fans. “I cant believe many of you waited out in the cold. What did I do to deserve people waiting out in the cold for me?” she mentioned, hand over heart, referencing the amount of fans she saw waiting for her show “out in the cold” throughout the day. “Ive been thinking more and more about it today, just how surreal it is having seven thousand fans waiting for you across the other end of the world.”
She gave us her thanks sitting on her stairway on stage before performing Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All) and continued her thanks throughout the night. It seems as though the armory may have been her largest show on the tour yet. After Buzzcut at the start of her set she spoke to us. “Now’s the time i tell the audience about how much i love being in intimate venues with you” she said, somewhat sarcastically, “But, that’s hard to do when there’s seven thousand of you here.”
She began her set on a light and airy note, Opening her set with Leader of a New Regime while singing as a silhouette behind a glowing screen, before moving out to Homemade Dynamite and Buzzcut Season, both songs a bit more powerful and allowed her to move across the stage. As her first set continued, more and more band members (who went unnamed) entered the stage, and joined her. At times, they stood still like a church choir or turned around robotically. Lorde seemed to be the only truly active member on the stage, climbing stairs, smiling and dancing around the still, uniformed members of her band.
Her show was less of a musical set, and ventured more into a theater act. Spread across three different acts, they were marked by both a costume change for each and a slight change of her vast, colorful set, which was constantly changing color and rotating throughout the night. Her setlist mostly drew from her latest record Solar Power, released just this past august, but also featured many songs from her previous, certified platinum records, Pure Heroine and 2017’s Melodrama.
In recent weeks, Lorde has drawn criticism for “shushing” her audiences at shows when they get too loud, and the Minneapolis stop of her tour seemed to be an exception to that. However Ive found this discipline to be much needed from an artist. Concerts have always been a social event, but respect for artists in recent years when it comes to talking during songs have really started to go downhill. Kudos to Lorde for taking a stand on it.
The night ended after 21 songs, with the encore featuring Lorde’s 2014 breakout classic Royals and Team both from Pure Heroine before waving goodbye to the crowd, and exiting. Minneapolis probably wasn’t the stop Lorde was most excited for, but it seemed to mean much more to her as the night went on. At one point in her soliloquy in the middle of her set, she confessed to us “I go away for a few years, and come back, and do it over and over again. But this time, i’m not gonna be able to go away again. Today made me realize what im doing, who im talking to. Makes me want to make music and make shit.” Here’s hoping she brings her energy back to Minneapolis very soon.