Living the Teenage Dream with Lorde
Lorde at the Fillmore earlier this year.
Sixteen-year-old me would've been obsessed with Lorde. Seriously: her number one fan. I would've bought tickets to her 1ST Bank Center show as soon as they went on sale, gotten to the venue early, and would've been the girl randomly cheering from the front long before Lorde appeared on stage.
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If I was still sixteen, I would've worshipped the way she bounced around stage, possessed by the music. I would've danced incessantly, just like her, probably buzzed off the small amount of vodka I would've stolen from my parent's liquor cabinet to celebrate such a special night. I would've dreamed of pulling off a white crop top like her. I would consider growing my hair out and curling it. I would've been the one at the show shouting out the words to "Royals" with thousands of others, my phone up the whole time to video tape the amazing experience.
The photo I would've taken of her dressed as an empress, with her red toga and gold crown, would've been my phone background for the next year. I would have been jumping up to pop the smoke bubbles that filled the arena between songs, adding the mystery Lorde likes to create around herself. I would've saved some of the white confetti she blasted into the crowd at the end of "Team." I definitely would've have bought every Bon Iver album and listened to them non-stop, because she covered one of his songs. I would also be disappointed to find out years later that clubs are not as amazing or fun as the club atmosphere she created for the last twenty minutes of her set, with strobes and blue and red lights completely devouring the crowd.
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Were I sixteen, I would have been floored by the way Lorde is able to perfectly capture the isolation and fear of being a teenager, and how those feeling are often contrasted by little moments with your friends that at the time mean the entire world to you. I would've felt like she just knew me and my midnight drives with my friends, our adventures, and our sense of freedom that can only occur when you're that young and the world hasn't tried to ruin you yet. I would have loved how she took all those strong feelings and laid them over creative, infectious beats that you lose yourself in with the hundreds of others around you and make you feel like maybe it'll all be okay in the end.
I'm not sixteen however. As a 23-year-old, I find Lorde fascinating. I'm moved to dance to her beats and sing along to her catchy choruses just like my younger self would. But sometimes, especially in the floor of the 1ST Bank Center surrounded by actual teenagers, I feel a pang, knowing I am no longer sixteen, and those feelings and moments Lorde sings about will never happen to me again.
As a 23-year-old, I think all sixteen-year-olds should listen to her. The world needs more pop stars like her -- more young girls from faraway places with awkward accents and unruly hair. Pop stars who would rather sing about home than who they want to sleep with and young girls who have the confidence to stand on stage with just a single white light and belt out, letting their own voice be heard. Those who aren't afraid to bear their teeth and add a little edge to their pop sheen. In a world of manufactured pop stars who are driven by their outrageous looks, the music industry could use a few more who perform from the heart. As a 23-year-old, when Lorde took a few moments to talk about her love of Denver, and her aspirations to play Red Rocks, I cheered because I knew that she really meant it. This wasn't Katy Perry shouting "How are you [insert city name here]!" This was a kid absolutely shocked that she got to put out an album, leave her far away island and visit this random city in America twice in one year. If I were sixteen I would've dreamed of being her when I grow up. I think the present version of me might too.
I don't know what drew the 30-somethings and the parents and the grandparents to that show, but the fact that Lorde means something to them to exemplifies what a force she is. She truly deserves to be able to play the same city twice, the second in a much larger venue then The Fillmore. I do know I'll have to go see Lorde when I'm in my thirties, something tells me she'll still be touring, maybe even at Red Rocks.
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