Lorde, Muna, Stellie @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 16/3/2023
The focus of the Adelaide Festival last night was very much so on the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with three stellar performers with Lorde, Muna and Adelaide favourite Stellie. For Adelaide fans of Lorde it definitely has been a long time between drinks with the last visit back in 2014 in the smaller theatre in the Entertainment Centre. Nevertheless, there was an element of getting reacquainted and making up for lost time as a lot has happened in that time with two further albums in Solar Power (2021) and Melodrama (2017) and a live show to rival many.
Stellie opened proceedings at the really early time slot of half six. What an opportunity to play on the big stage and taking her own performance to another level. No doubt you can’t buy this sort of experience and it was great to see her really relish the opportunity. It might of been short and sweet winning over some new fans in the process. There were plenty of great moments with the stand out for me being 22 Pieces.
The real draw on this line up was being able to see American indie pop band Muna play. The heart and soul of this band is Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson boosted by a touring drummer and bass player. Their self-titled album released last year is an absolute gem and their previous two albums are definitely worth seeking out. The minimalist staging and lighting really did enhance the sonic experience of their set. There was an important theme and message which ran right throughout their set being equality, acceptance, dignity for all people and creating a safe place for people to dance the night away regardless of their sexuality and gender.
Their set was full of so many great songs starting with What I Want followed by Number One Fan and a love song in Sometimes. The band acknowledged that this was their last show in Australia and I’m sure this isn’t the last we have seen of this band. The songs connected and flowed well together. Stayaway and No Idea were great and Pink Light was about loving someone and they don’t love you back. Taken was described as their country song and singer Katie Gavin said that there would be a one song break from dancing with Home By Now. Big single Anything But Me proved popular and I Know A Place was dedicated to the queer/trans people and ensuring safe places to be able to dance the night away. The set finished on big single Silk Chiffon which left Adelaide fans with a lasting impression on this great band. I seriously wished I bought the vinyl after!
There is denying the fact that Lorde has come a long since appearing at Laneway Festival back in 2014. Playing bigger venues on this tour with what could be said as her most ambitious production to date. Initially, I thought that there were some striking similarities to David Byrne’s American Utopia. The show was very much based around the themes behind the Solar Power album going for a minimalist look with the corner piece being a sun dial on the stage which featured a staircase which Lorde would go up and down. The show was very much theatrically based with three distinct acts. When Lorde’s silhouette shines in the spotlight the crowd get excitable during first song Leader of a New Regime. Homemade Dynamite and Buzzcut Season followed. With Lorde admitting she had a ‘weak grasp’ of what day it was but sensing the end of week is near she was in a dancing mood. Stoned at the Nail Salon and Fallen Fruit were great moments.
Everything in this show had its place and nothing seemed out of place. It wasn’t a typical concert from a pop star, it was far more than that and seemed like a well woven tapestry. The Path and California were sublime. Lorder took a moment to talk about next song Ribs and that we had dancing to this for ten years and dancing for our younger selves. The Louvre drew on pent up frustration from all the rain, storms and cyclones with summer being the opportunity to draw those emotional layers out of us. Lorde was quite reflective saying it was a strange feeling writing songs that make sense and then seeing yourself in them which paved the way for Liability. Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All) was a set highlight for sure.
Act three had plenty of great moments with the likes of Mood Ring, Sober, Supercut and Perfect Places. If there was one song or one moment that stood out it would have to be Green Light, Wow! Finishing the set on Oceanic Feeling Lorde returned for an encore bringing out support act Muna who were finishing their Australian tour in Adelaide playing their song Kind of Girl. Lorde said that song gets her choked up and you could see the emotion in it. Bringing the show to an end on crowd favourites Royals and Team you have to say this was a classy performance.
Adelaide Festival Review By Rob Lyon