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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Lorde energizes the Grand Ole Opry with ‘Solar Power’

Nashville welcomed Lorde at the Opry on April 3 for the opening night of her “Solar Power” tour.
Chloe Postlewaite
Lorde heats up the stage, as photographed on April 3, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Chloe Postlewaite)

Whether it be ethereal soundscapes, a literal stairway to heaven or the implications of tracks like “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” much of the “Solar Power” experience elicited a high we’d never imagine coming down from. Bright visuals and circular orbs drew the fans into an hour-long sunrise, lifting us up and heightening our senses.

The evening started off high at the Grand Ole Opry on April 3 thanks to powerhouse opener Remi Wolf. Known for hits like “Photo ID” featuring Euphoria-heartthrob Dominic Fike, her voice married rasp and playfulness, pairing well with her eclectic band. Ballads like “Liz” and funky jams like “Sexy Villain” served as the perfect appetizer for the evening.

Lorde Photo 2
A sun-like drum illuminates Lorde, as photographed on April 3, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Chloe Postlewaite) (Chloe Postlewaite)

As the main event kicked off, however, I was a bit hesitant. Upon my first listen to the long-awaited “Solar Power” album that dropped last summer, I was left unimpressed. I couldn’t get behind this laidback shift from the punchy pop ballads we know and love, but this concert completely changed my perspective on the album. 

The Grand Ole Opry fully brought “Solar Power” to life. Donning an electric green beach-chic suit and backlit by a canvas sun, Lorde briefly opened with “Leader of a New Regime” before energizing the crowd with “Homemade Dynamite.” What could’ve been an abrupt shift between new and old instead blended seamlessly, with her tan-suited band completely changing their tone with minor instrumental modifications and lighting shifts. 

These tonal changes were largely made possible by both the versatility of the set and of Lorde’s performing style. In preparation for “The Path,” the rotating set changed just as effortlessly as did her outfit changes, which she conducted while silhouetted on center stage.

Lorde Photo 4
Lorde opens donning a bright green suit, as photographed on April 3, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Chloe Postlewaite) (Chloe Postlewaite)

Her casual nature continued as she paused to acknowledge the crowd, saying she felt as though she was “chatting with an old friend” via self-proclaimed “dumb banter.” Just moments later we saw her break down into her classically funky Lorde dance moves while belting “Hard Feelings.”

These moves and conversations exemplify the many instances where we got a taste of the old Lorde—and by old, I mean literally old, as this concert kicked off her first official tour since 2018. She told the crowd just how good it felt to perform again after such a long hiatus.

Lorde has changed quite a bit in the past three years, both in her aesthetic and in her musical style, but she still managed to electrify the crowd with classics like “Ribs” and “Buzzcut Season.” These are surely juxtaposed with the trippy background displays of “Fallen Fruit” and the single band member clutching a wooden pole for the entirety of “California.” Despite calling on vastly different eras of music, it all maintained a feeling that was uniquely Lorde.

Not once did we as an audience ponder her pairing of a floor-length goddess-like gown with Balenciaga sneakers, nor did we question as she caressed the stage as if it was the bluest water she ever did see. Each moment felt authentic, almost therapeutic.

Stripped-down piano renditions of “Dominoes” and ballads like “Liability” surely moved the crowd with the raw emotion she infused in her performance, yet she managed to get everyone on their feet for hits like “Perfect Places” and “Supercut.” Tracks like “Secrets for the Girls” and “Mood Ring” were specially brought to life with rich visuals and the sheer amount of—for lack of a better phrase—positive vibes that she emulated during her performance.

Lorde Photo 5
Rainbow visuals bring “Solar Power” to life, as photographed on April 3, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Justine Del Monte) (Justine Del Monte)

The energy was contagious, and she noted that she “writes songs about bodies, when something happens in your body that feels really intense.” This intensity was felt throughout my personal favorite, “Green Light.” Soft strumming and warm hues were replaced by an electric green rager, completely transforming the Opry. 

Less notable moments included her finale rendition of “Royals” and calming tracks like “Oceanic Feeling,” with the former being lackluster only because it might be time to retire the track that started it all. 

Lorde has clearly evolved into something more, starkly apparent during the highly anticipated title track, “Solar Power.” She transported us to an oasis, warming us with sound and soul. The crowd absolutely erupted during the songs’ peaks, asserting that she is, in fact, the prettier Jesus, but can you reach her? No, you can’t.

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About the Contributors
Justine Del Monte
Justine Del Monte, Former Life Copy Editor
Justine Del Monte ('22) studied Public Policy. She enjoys nature, VSG, cooking videos and talking about how she's from California. Send inquiries and Broadway-related playlists to [email protected].
Chloe Postlewaite
Chloe Postlewaite, Staff Photographer
Chloe Postlewaite ('24) is a student in the College of Arts and Science studying communication of science and technology and cognitive studies. She loves to drink coffee and create niche Spotify playlists. You can reach her at [email protected].  
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