Lorde at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Paul Wellman

Lorde at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Review: Lorde at the Santa Barbara Bowl

New Zealand Songstress Delivered to a Generation-Spanning Crowd

New Zealand’s Lorde drew an appropriately unique crowd to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Thursday night. Despite her 17 years, the youngster’s fan base now famously transcends generations (or at least her first record did). For S.B., that meant a general admission area teeming with nuclear families and swingin’ singles alike.

“You guys are pretty cool, aren’t you?” said Lorde, draped in one of several dramatic costumes she’d sport throughout her hour-and-a-half-long set. It’s the type of thing artists say when they perform, though it was hard to ignore a particular air of resonance within the statement, either because she meant it or because the crowd believed her more than they normally do.

“I feel like we’re just hanging out,” the singer exclaimed.

All of that said, it’d be wrong to declare Lorde’s performance anything short of great. Songs like “Royals,” “Team,” and “Tennis Court” were all fully delivered on, complete with special live-band musical variations. “Royals” in particular was a set highlight, as the foundation of the song beautifully utilized the voices of the crowd as an impromptu backup choir. Set and costume changes abounded (I think there were five), though transitions were made hardly noticeable thanks to the deployment of smoke-filled bubbles (and a Kanye West sing-along). Truthfully, it’s difficult to imagine how the show could have been more demanding of the unceasingly charismatic Lorde.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.