Lorde commanded the stage at the Xcel Energy Center

The pop singer made her first stop ever in the Twin Cities Friday.

Lorde performing at the Roskilde Festival in June, 2017.

Courtesy of Krists Luhaers, Creative Commons

Lorde performing at the Roskilde Festival in June, 2017.

by Maddy Folstein

The onion ring-loving, Razor scooter-riding pop queen Lorde took over the Xcel Energy Center on Friday night.

And the crowd loved her.

As a part of her “Melodrama” World Tour, the St. Paul tour stop also featured Swedish pop singer Tove Styrke and rap duo Run the Jewels as openers. Tove Styrke was fun enough for being the first opener, though Friday was her final performance on the tour. She did a cover of Lorde’s “Liability,” a bold choice that didn’t quite play right.

Run the Jewels, however? Incredible.

Even in a crowd full of denim jacket-clad teenagers, there were enough Jewel Runners in the crowd to match their high-intensity performance, complete with flashing lights and some of the loudest sounds of the night. El-P and Killer Mike seemed out of place opening for the pop singer, but they thanked the crowd for still knowing some of their songs.

Lorde’s set included songs from her first album, “Pure Heroine,” weaving her earlier songs into the narrative of heart break from “Melodrama.”

Lorde wore billowing purple pants and a mesh top, and when she stood in the center of the stage, a light wind seemed to blow her hair back gently. In these moments, the 21-year-old singer gracefully commanded the stage amid a small ensemble of dancers and flashing, multicolored lights. Her dancers spent most of their time in a transparent box that sometimes floated above the stage, filling in as abstract themes, friends and past lovers.

Lorde is openly introverted, and midway through the concert, she simply sat in the middle of the stage, surrounded by warm-toned light. She told us how she usually doesn’t get to hang out with this many people and shared her love for Prince. (She sang a snippet of “I Would Die 4 U,” and most of the young audience either didn’t know or didn’t sing along to the lyrics — the only low point of the night).

Lorde’s excitement shone throughout the night. There’s a line towards the end of “The Louvre,” where she whispered “down the back, but who cares — still the Louvre,” and you could almost hear her smiling. When she performed the bittersweet anthem live, she grinned widely. She spent most of her time onstage dancing and bouncing around freely — in front of me, a young girl dressed as Wonder Woman spent most her time at the concert trying to imitate Lorde’s joyous thrashing.

The overarching theme of the night? Vulnerability. Her openness radiates through her pop anthems and slower songs of heartbreak. She performed “Liability” on the edge of tears, and before singing “Green Light,” the radio anthem of “Melodrama,” she shared how much joy and passion and anger and pettiness she poured into that one song. The song exploded in multiple bursts of confetti catharsis and dancing.

In the middle of the concert, Lorde changed outfits onstage in dim lighting. We could still see her, as she slowly changed into another pair of flowing pants and a white crop top. Before she stepped into the next song, Lorde took her time, smoothing her hair and taking a deep, patient breath.

She opened her world up to the crowd — what an intimate, sparkling dreamland it was.

Grade: A