Lorde tours Solar Power, brings intimate, powerful energy to Chicago

Performs at Chicago Theater after four year hiatus


Sign for Lorde concert which took place on April 23 at the Chicago Theater (Rauf/LION).

Gabriella Rauf, In-Depth Editor

Eight months after the release of the album, Lorde began touring for “Solar Power.” She played in Chicago for two nights: Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23, at the Chicago Theater. 

The concert featured popular songs from the album, but also plenty of her well-known tracks in the past, opening with “Leader of the New Regime,” and closing out with her Grammy-winning single, “Royals.” From powerful vocals complementing her unique dancing, to moving set pieces and memorable costume changes, Lorde put on a show that proved to be more than just a concert. It was theatrical and entertaining, but also personal and authentic to Lorde as an artist. Although I wasn’t shushed—unlike previous tour audiences—I truly felt connected to and pulled in by the singer’s performance. 

Lorde chose the Chicago Theater as her venue, and I could not think of a more perfect location to represent her album. With the theater’s beautiful scenery and close, intimate seating, there really was not a bad sightline. Being that the theater is a smaller venue, seats quickly filled up when I was purchasing tickets during her presale event. I initially had intended to purchase the tickets for Friday, but a Saturday show happened to open up, and I was finally able to secure two balcony seats for $120 each, before tax. 

“If you’re in this room, it’s highly likely that you bought a ticket about five minutes after they went on sale,” Lorde said in her welcoming speech. “I know who is in this room with me. I’ve got my real ones.” 

The opener for the evening was Remi Wolf, who is most recognized for her songs “Disco Man” and “Photo ID.” I had known just a few of her songs going in, and only listened to pre-recorded tracks. Therefore, I was incredibly surprised by the singer’s strong presence on stage and powerful voice. I think she was a great person to open up for Lorde, as she really brought up the energy and engaged with the audience. She definitely set us up for what was quite possibly the best concert I have ever been to. 

Lorde performed a good balance of newer and older songs. I went into the concert expecting mostly songs from “Solar Power,” but was excited and surprised when I heard songs from her albums “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama” that made up almost half of the setlist. While I enjoyed hearing many of my more recent favorites, such as “California” and “Mood Ring,” nothing beats the live performance of “Ribs,” an experience that was both electric and sentimental. 

In between songs, Lorde made a reference to the highly discussed videos from her past. For context, Lorde shushed the crowd while performing a certain ballad from “Writer in the Dark” a capella. These videos from her “Melodrama” tour have resurfaced on social media since the “Solar Power” tour has commenced. This time around, she encouraged the crowd to sing as loud as they could. 

The performance also featured a moving set that was built to represent a sundial, an obvious reference to the title of the album. Not only did it act as a moving staircase, but it also changed colors depending on the song. For “Mood Ring,” it shifted between multiple colors just as the object of the title. In “Green Light,” it boasted green flashing lights. 

While the album “Solar Power” was not received as well as her work in the past, Lorde certainly made up for it with her ticket sales and unforgettable tour. The singer made sure to account for all aspects of her show, including the set design, and flattering outfits. It is obvious the amount of thought that Lorde puts into her work, making every live performance of her’s worth every cent. 

5/5 Paws