Lorde Shines at Governors Ball, Gives 'Perfect Places' Its Live Debut: Watch

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Lorde performs onstage during the 2017 Governors Ball Music Festival - Day 1 at Randall's Island on June 2, 2017 in New York City. 

Lorde’s sophomore album comes out in less than two weeks. 

In that spirit, the cerebral pop star was sure to inject her Governors Ball set Friday night (June 2) with the sort of teasers that hint at the grandeur of what’s to be.

She played one song live for the very first time. She brought out her main collaborator on the album. And, she closed her set -- resoundingly, mind you -- not with one of the hits from her esteemed 2013 debut, but with the live-wire single that kicked off this year’s album cycle. 

Welcome to the world of Lorde in 2017. By now, there’s a growing chance nothing on Melodrama (out June 16 on Republic) matches the chart success of her No. 1 single “Royals,” or her follow-up top ten hit “Team.”

“Green Light” has only barely made it into the top 20, but its brash sonic adventures and absolutely jubilant reception have already made it a different sort of triumph. The New York City crowd was brought to hands-in-the-air catharsis by the set closer, already well within the palm of Lorde’s hand with one of the most expertly curated pop shows you'll see this year.

For a good chunk of the 75-minute set, the 20-year-old star was joined by her good friend Jack Antonoff, who executive produced Melodrama, much of it in his home studio in New York.

Festival crowds know surprise guests are often not-too-surprising in their dime-a-dozen-ness, but watching Lorde and Antonoff giddily tinker with their creations in real time (hours after his band Bleachers played the same spot on its record release day) felt about as intimate as the Gov Ball main stage can.

For some songs, they sat side-by-side at the piano and quipped back and forth -- mostly about being awkward hermits who obsess over music. For others, Antonoff unassumingly played guitar sidestage, a safe distance from Lorde’s spectacle. 

And what a spectacle it was. Much of the stage was occupied by a see-through rectangular prism, containing dancers (and sometimes Lorde herself) swaying in rhythm as the structure seized up and down atop a pair of moving support beams.

It was a weird little world-within-a-world for Lorde and friends, not unlike the escapism she evoked with her Billboard Music Awards performance last month. That one had her singing “Green Light” in an ordinary-looking karaoke room, which only revealed itself to be part of the T-Mobile Arena stage once the camera panned out at song’s end. It was arguably the most memorable artistic statement at the Las Vegas ceremony, and last night, Lorde made a strong claim for the same crown.

Below, watch Lorde perform her Melodrama track “Perfect Places” live for the first time (via Stereogum). Also, find her set list (via Setlist.fm). 

 

 

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Set list: 

Tennis Court
Magnets (Disclosure cover)
400 Lux
Buzzcut Season
Homemade Dynamite
Ribs
Sober
Sober II (Melodrama)
Hang With Me (Robyn cover)
Liability
Royals
Perfect Places
Team
Green Light