I begin writing this review barely twenty minutes into Lorde’s performance, and no, that’s not a good thing.
She seems perfectly on form, from what I can tell in my drowned position. The TSB Arena has neglected to include a dedicated disability area in their floor plan, so I am at the back of the general area, more accurately called a mosh pit. In a wheelchair this is not ideal.
Also the volume of the music and crowd is actually making my ears hurt. I think this is due to my own hearing issues, and is not therefore the fault of the sound technicians, or even Lorde herself. But it does mean that I can’t enjoy myself even a little. I had so been looking forward to this.
For deeper reasons than those mentioned I think this will be the first and last Lorde concert I ever attend. It is not just my physical differences that separates me from the rest of this throng. I look at my fellow concert goers and I feel a trench-like divide between us.
The division seems strongly generational. Their sensibilities, hopes, dreams, and thoughts seem foreign to me. A bit like how the WWII generation were so starkly unlike their children. It is why I feel somewhat removed from the themes Lorde spoke about during a pause when she thanked the sell out audience. The feeling of youth. The rapid passing of one’s early years.
The crowd is young, obviously restless, and responds with clichéd alacrity to all the prompts from stage. Scream hysterically here, wave cellphones like their cigarette lighters at Woodstock at this point. There is a something very herd like about human behavior in crowds. I do think this is part of their appeal, for you to temporarily shed personal identity and assume the combined super-ego of the crowd. I’ve never found myself able to do this, and for that reason find this concert a thoroughly hellish experience.