Festivals

Coachella 2014: Lorde Makes Desert Debut, Gets Royal Treatment

Lorde, Coachella 2014
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Lorde performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2014 in Indio, California

“This is actually the first big thing I ever booked,” a wind-swept Lorde told the crowd packed onto the land surrounding the outdoor stage. “I said … holy fuck, we booked Coachella. I was screaming on the phone. We are so lucky to be here. This is mental.”

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Last May, when Lorde (aka Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor) initially got the desert gig, she was just a quirky New Zealand teen with a dream. Now that she's taken up residence near the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100, with the indomitable "Royals" having spent nine consecutive weeks at number one last year and follow-up single "Team" creeping toward the Top 5, there's nothing standing between Lorde and the big stages.

Lorde herself looked like a benevolent warrior princess, coiled and gracious in a white flowing dress and long brown hair blown back by the desert wind. Throngs of supporters hung on every odd girl out narrative or sharp social critique, and she thanked them in kind for making the wildest dreams of a "kid from New Zealand" come true.