Lorde @ the Xcel Energy Center

Illustrator: Tessa Portuese

With a stage presence that is so captivating, it’s hard to believe that the New Zealand-born star Lorde is only 21 years old. On Friday, March 23, as part of her the Melodrama World Tour, the singer-songwriter stopped in St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center and invited the audience to let go and dance with her. Lorde’s ability to execute a performance that is incredibly mature, yet playful and charming, is a feat that made her show an emotional rollercoaster, but one that I was thrilled to be on.

Featuring music from her two albums, Lorde’s setlist was packed with jams and tear-inducing songs. Favorites of mine, “Ribs,” “Supercut,” and “Perfect Places” did not disappoint. Emotionally-charged and personal “Hard Feelings” and “Liability” were great songs to cry to. Of course, every person in the over 20,000-seat Xcel Center sang along to the lyrics of cult hit “Royals.” Then, as many artists do when playing in the Twin Cities, Lorde gave a shout-out to Prince and covered his upbeat “I Would Die 4 U,” which was ironic because it was, in fact, me who would die for her.

The most memorable part of the show was her performance of “Green Light,” a song that is something else altogether when played live. Lorde brought intense energy to this final number, and as part of the audience, it was easy to observe her joy on stage. She is often critiqued on her unconventional style of dancing, which some might describe as “weird,” “wild,” or “uncoordinated.” But, in the beauty of being in the presence of a performer who clearly doesn’t care about judgement lies the freedom to forget about who’s watching and just dance.