Solar Power may not have met your expectations after the stunning response of Ella Marija Lani Yelich–O'Connor’s first two albums—Pure Heroine and Melodrama—but her intimate world tour truly transcends the audience into a new space where she closely engages with the vivid detailed lyrics and visually engaging sets.
Lorde is one of those artists whose fans have stuck by her through her first heartbreaking release of "Ribs" which she wrote at 15, and that dedication to her soul–binding music is evident at her concerts. Fans line up for the general admission pit seating section from 3:30 a.m., camping out under The Met sign with backpacks, blankets, and beach chairs. Given that Lorde has emphasized how much she wanted the Solar Power Tour to be a familial experience, through her detailed email letters to those subscribed to her newsletter, arriving at the venue seven hours before the show still gives you a high chance of obtaining a near–barricade spot in the pit.
Before the doors opened at 6 p.m., Lorde expressed her love for all the dedicated fans waiting outside, with a sweet note, doughnuts, and smiles from the venue workers exclaiming, “Enjoy this gift from Ella!” When the doors did open, all the giddy fans rushed to the front of the seats, eagerly awaiting a Ticketmaster scan and a red wristband to get into the pit. There was inevitably a lot of pushing and shoving, everyone enthusiastic to get as close to the stage as possible.
After roughly 90 minutes of waiting, the lights dimmed and the lively Remi Wolf stormed the stage with her three–person band. The set was simple but neon–infused with bright lights paired with the richness of Wolf’s vocals. Her talents are nothing short of impressive, and her performance encouraged me, and many others who were previously unfamiliar with her work, to linger on her Spotify page later.
Wolf brought the energy and the chemistry on stage, and her short 30–minute set was simultaneously casual and hype—she started off her set by saying, “Fuck yea, it’s 7:30.” Her backwards snapback, pajamas, and white Crocs look provided a sleepover–esque ambience where she's singing to her friends and jumping around the stage like nobody’s watching. With her hits like "Disco Man," "Sexy Villain," "Woo!," "Photo ID," and a contemporary quirky rendition of "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, Wolf brought her A–game.
The time between Wolf’s set and Lorde’s entrance was nerve–wracking. Fans scurried to get an exact time for when the "Royals" singer would take the stage and an idea of what the set list would be. The audience had been stalking Twitter and updates on Lorde’s other shows, trying to pick up on patterns on whether or not she’d sing fan–favorites like "The Louvre" or "Team" in Philadelphia. When one of the venue managers took a picture of the set list and shared it with the pit, the crowd burst into shrieks of happiness, especially since she’d be playing the dynamic "400 Lux" after years.
The set was nothing short of mesmerizing to start. With an elevated angled ladder sitting atop a spherical dome and her shadow peeking through the muted yellow light in an open white button–down, she began softly with "Leader of a New Regime" and transitioned into "Homemade Dynamite." The duality in her set list proves how Lorde still reigns as the queen of emo pop, thanks to her first two albums. She seamlessly ebbs and flows between all three albums, singing her smashing hits like "Buzzcut Season" and "Supercut," while contrasting the energy with her light tunes like "Secrets From A Girl (Who’s Seen It All)."
Throughout each and every song, no matter how old or new, no matter how critiqued or applauded, the audience cried out her lyrics, reaching their arms toward her like a friend. It’s no shock that Lorde deemed Philly as her loudest crowd—exactly why she loves coming to this city. She echoed how she feels like her fans are her closest mates, and how they’ve traveled her unique musical journey along with her. Lorde's laughs within her songs and in response to loving fans' screams are simultaneously thematic of the happiness that reverberates throughout Solar Power.
One of the highlights of the night was when she struck the chorus of her beloved "Solar Power" and the pit was drowned in confetti with the album’s lyrical inscriptions like "breathe out, tune in." This is a classic Lorde shtick which she’s done in her Melodrama Tour as well, showering her fans with a piece of herself that they can take home and carry with themselves forever, besides the hundreds of videos and photographs crowding up one’s phone storage.
While many were upset by Lorde’s choice of smaller venues for her tour, her reason for choosing The Met for Philadelphia was evident on April 20. She was transparently free, taking her time to approach each and every angle of the stage and praising the ones who were there in front, calling us “the crazies” who’ve stuck by her through everything. Her nostalgic encore, singing "400 Lux" and "Royals," and also sneaking in "Team" at the end because she adored the crowd’s emphatic energy, sent the audience into a hysterical frenzy, reminding them of the album they grew up with—the album that made them who they are today.
Between the colorful fabrics and sensual cutouts that Lorde adorned, and the well–crafted set pieces and neon lighting, the Solar Power Tour is illuminating. Her live performances surpass expectations and allow you to give yourself and the album a second chance. From the mixed set list, whether you’re crying to "Liability"—yes, that happened—or jumping up and down with your arms in the air to the wistful "Ribs," there's a place for you at the Solar Power Tour. She's truly grateful for all her “real ones” as she’s labeled her fans. She's ready to remind you of when you were (or are) 19 and on fire, and she's ready to make you cry.