“I’m the ultimate comedown shepherd,” beams Lorde as he surveys a hilltop crowd of exhausted and restless festival-goers in need of some reassurance.
Her third album, 2021 solar power, received a lukewarm response from some quarters. But at its golden hour, it’s a record that comes to life – especially when paired with Lorde’s warm, empathetic stage presence.
She leads with “The Path” – the provocative opener. Her new blonde tresses complement the gold set as the sun sets behind the pyramid and bathes the crowd in a yellow glow. Dressed in a purple leotard and red leggings, the 26-year-old looks just like Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods Naturally blond – certainly not a mistake, although it goes unnoticed.
She struts up and down a central staircase supported by a huge circular disc that shines like a star. “This is the ultimate comedown anthem!” she laughs, before introducing Arlo Parks and Clairo for a rendition of “Stoned At The Nail Salon.”
A live performance of “California” – about leaving the West Coast and coming home – confirms it as one of the best cuts out there solar power.
After yesterday’s lead from Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen, Lorde has become the latest cast member to scream ‘f*** the Supreme Court’ after his fall from Roe vs Wade in the US. It’s a rare moment of aggression that follows a spoken word, which Lorde concludes with “Secrets From A Girl.” But the relaxed mood is quickly restored thanks to “Mood Ring” and its talk of sun salutations, crystals and transcendental meditation.
“I need your help singing this,” she says, looking lonely as she settles onto her staircase to begin the delicate but lyrically brutal ballad “Liability.”
“I get very powerful in the sun and I can get away with almost anything,” she says, introducing the title track of Solar power.
Her newfound sincerity — a departure from the eye-rolling of her massive 2013 breakout single “Royals” — may be a difficult proposition for those beyond the confines of New Zealand’s utopian landscape. But Glastonbury is a place that feels like home.
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“This place is Disneyland. This is the dream. Every artist looks forward to this weekend of the year,” she says. “So thanks for finding it in your hearts for a little freak from New Zealand.”
Dilapidated shepherd, sunbather, little freak: every version of Lorde shines like the sun tonight.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/lorde-review-glastonbury-2022-b2109760.html Lorde Review, Glastonbury 2022: The New Zealand artist’s newfound sincerity feels right at home on the Pyramid Stage