There have been giant leaps forward taken all across Glastonbury 2022, but not many have been as powerful and meaningful as Lorde‘s debut appearance on the Pyramid Stage. Following on from when her electrifying ‘Melodrama’ album was showcased at Worthy Farm in 2017, tonight (June 26) the New Zealand vocalist and songwriter invited thousands of fans to play out their own dramas through her music – all while performing one of her biggest festival shows to date.
Throughout an aesthetically-charged and choreography-heavy set, the artist born Ella Yelich-O’Connor showed just how powerful catharsis can be. Flanked by a live backing band, she waltzed around a sun dial-shaped stage centrepiece to deliver tracks from last year’s stunning ‘Solar Power’. Lorde also encouraged her fans to make new friends with the thousands of strangers around them; the sense that she was enjoying herself on the Pyramid was infectious.
Crucially, Lorde communicated how she understood that when you are on stage at Glastonbury – which is livestreamed across the world – the opportunity is right there in front of you to reach millions with your words, so she chose to speak out on the wider issues affecting the world outside of our festival bubble. Here are the biggest moments from Lorde’s vital, impactful set at Glastonbury 2022.
A dream collaboration came to life
Lorde extended an invitation to both Arlo Parks and Clairo, two of her closest friends in music, to join her for ‘Stoned At The Nail Salon’, which she described as “the ultimate comedown anthem”. As the trio delivered gorgeously tender group harmonies, some punters before them took the song title literally and used it as an opportunity to get blazed. This wide-eyed and blissful moment of surprise down on the farm left us thinking, maybe, if we ask Lorde, Parks and Clairo all nicely, we could have a potential supergroup on our hands?
‘Supercut’ was turned into a life-affirming mega-rave
Lying flat on the stage, Lorde paused the expansive outro of ‘Supercut’ to talk about what Glastonbury meant to her growing up. Her excitement was palpable: gentle, icy synth chords washed over the Pyramid Stage crowd before surging into a huge breakdown, mirroring the Kiwi star’s disbelief at the emotional moment that was unfolding in front of her. Visibly moved by the uproarious audience response, she pointed out that this was one of the largest festival crowds she has performed for to date – and to hear her pour her heart out to thousands was unforgettable.
Lorde made us dance for our “angsty, proud 15-year-old selves”
Bathed in blue lights, Lorde encouraged a moment of communal wonderment by leading a dance session through ‘Ribs’, her gorgeous hymn to adolescence. It was five minutes of high-octane magic: friends held each others’ hands above their heads, while Lorde balanced a constant swing between euphoric surges and moments of thoughtful restraint. The crowd soaked up every drop, and reached soaring new levels of collective joy in the process.
She also gave an impassioned speech about Roe vs Wade
Reworking the spoken monologue of ‘Solar Power’ highlight ‘Secrets From A Girl (Who’s Seen It All’, Lorde referenced the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn the Roe vs Wade ruling, which means each state will now be able to decide individually whether to restrict or ban abortion.
“You wanna know a secret, girls? Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born. That horror is your birthright,” she said. “Here’s another secret – you possess ancient wisdom. Wisdom that has propelled every woman who came before you. That wisdom is your birthright. I ask you today, make accessing that wisdom your life’s work, because everything depends on that. Fuck the Supreme Court.” Powerful, vital stuff.
‘Green Light’ now “belongs to the British”, apparently
Launching into an explosive rendition of ‘Green Light’, Lorde declared that the track – which won NME‘s Song Of The Year in 2017 – is received the most passionately by crowds in the UK. Those gathered at the Pyramid Stage provided substantial evidence to support her claim: as thundering drums clattered against bouncing synths, a wave of ecstatic screams ripped through the field, allowing Lorde to feel the full-force of her spirited fans.
Check back at NME here throughout the weekend for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.