The wind howled and the rain lashed down around Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport, but the New Zealand singer wasn’t put off, telling the crowd she was “pumped” on her “first day in Poland.”
Emerging onto stage to the final bars of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, Lorde played a short set that leaned equally on her two albums, ‘Pure Heroine’ and ‘Melodrama’. 2013 single ‘Tennis Court’ kicked off the performance, delighting fans with its skittering percussion and rumbling synth lines. Next came ‘Magnets’, her 2015 collaboration with electronic duo Disclosure, before euphoric ballad ‘Supercut’ and indie-pop megahit ‘Royals’.
In talkative mood, Lorde grew visibly emotional when introducing ‘Liability’ and appeared on the verge of tears. “It’s hard when your life is in technicolor,” she told the soaked audience.
“Sometimes it can feel like you’re too much for some people. You’re not, fuck that.” She added, “There is a group of people out there for everyone. I promise.”
Glastonbury-goers would have noticed the box that featured in the performer’s Worthy Farm gig was missing at Open’er. Replaced here by a giant screen which aired trippy visuals, the transparent cube had contained a troupe of interpretive dancers surrounded by balloons reacting to the music.
However, the closing salvo of ‘Perfect Places’, ‘Team’ and standout track ‘Green Light’ more than made up for its exclusion. Even Dua Lipa, who’d just finished her own set on the Tent Stage, couldn’t resist the draw of the Auckland star’s biggest tune — she was spotted dancing to the 2017 hit.
Earlier on the Main Stage, co-headliners The xx played to a raucous audience in the driving rain. “We have been looking forward to this show for such a long time”, revealed bassist Oliver Sim. “This is our second Open’er, and the first time we had such an amazing time.” The band then launched into the soothing ‘Say Something Loving’, taken from this year’s new album ‘I See You’.
Drawing deafening cheers from the loudest crowd of the festival by far, the London trio were supported by an explosive light show which featured multi-coloured strobes, green lasers and their ‘I See You’ tour’s large revolving mirrors which reflected onto the audience. They finished their set with an extended version of 2012 single ‘Angels’, thanking the crowd for “staying with us through the rain.”
Over on the smaller Alter Stage, Kansas City singer-songwriter Kevin Morby brought his brutally honest brand of slacker folk-rock to an eager gathering. Performing songs from his four albums so far, the former Babies frontman channelled Lou Reed in an energetic set that will have earned him many new fans. Following ‘Parade’, Morby asked for the house lights to be turned up so that he and his band could have their photo taken with the audience. “Thank you for that,” he said. “You look beautiful.”
Meanwhile, on the Tent Stage, recent NME cover star Dua Lipa was busy belting out the hits to one of the biggest crowds of the whole festival. Bounding into the spotlight for catchy opener ‘Hotter Than Hell’, the pop star rattled through an impressive setlist that was sung back at her by thousands of adoring fans. Sassy pop anthem ‘IDGAF’ was followed by chart smash ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’ before fan-favourite ‘Be The One’ brought the house down on one of the best sets of the week. Afterwards, she made her way through the bad weather to the Main Stage, where Lorde was finishing up the final Main Stage live performance of the festival. Next year, if all goes well, she may find herself in the same position.