Two Months Since… Lorde + Arctic Monkeys w/ Battleme – Double Concert Review

Crystal Ballroom

1469923_709349605741936_1265537756_nI’m just going to have to accept it. No night will ever live up to December 4th, 2013.

My second night of Dec2Rem began with a show that was a last minute add to the lineup. Not only this, but one that sold out in a record 30 seconds. Who else could do this, but the now 2-time Grammy winner, Lorde?

Any of you who even remotely know me know that I am obsessed with this 17-year-old Auckland vocalist, responsible for the chart-topping track and Grammy winning song, Royals. So, when Ella [Yelich-O’Connor] called in to 94/7 to announce her show only 2 weeks before it was to be held, I pretty much lost my shit in class. No, seriously, I cried.

Well, when the day came, I skipped out on half of school to camp outside her tour bus. Though the amount of time I spent in her presence offstage was about 5 seconds, it was worth the nearly 5 hour wait in the cold.

(Note for Ella: If you’re reading this, next time you’re in Portland, let’s try to live up to our plan to hang out afterward. I was a little disappointed we weren’t able to with your tight schedule, but I hope next time, we’ll both have a little more time on our hands.)

Of course, as I needed to, I got the front and center spot. My emotions were just too much to handle in the hour leading up to the start. When it did, I was not disappointed while my dreams all came true.

Lorde is a very interesting performer. What I love about her music is the minimalism in beats and tones that shines through. This is enhanced in her live performance with the use of lights, and of course, her now infamous dance.

“What’s with Lorde’s dancing?” many will ask. The strange, hunched over, clawed hand seizure she does has been coined as ‘golluming’. It’s one thing that I have found to be actually very helpful in performing. Though the movements may be strange, it helps to showcase her emotion behind the words and also for her to find the beat to the song. In essence, she’s “feeling it”.

Of course, her voice is simply glorious live. Not just when singing, but just when she’s talking to us. Her New Zealand accent simply drives me crazy. I could listen to her talk all day, honestly. Her stage banter was perfect. One of my favorite lines she delivered was when she noticed a fan holding an ‘I Love Dogs’ sign.

“That’s like my comfort sentence,” she said. “Anyone who knows me knows that when I’m in a situation where I don’t know what to say, I just say ‘I love dogs’.”

I’m sure you’ve had just about enough of my oogling over Lorde for one read, so I’ll bring it to a close.

As much as I hate to say it, I have a feeling that Ella won’t be playing as intimate of venues in the future, though we can pray. But no matter where, I highly recommend you see her live. It’s something you need to see for yourself. Just promise you’ll take me with you when you do.

Arctic Monkeys w/ Battleme
Roseland Theater

My night just kept getting crazier as it went along. After Lorde finished her set, I proceeded to run out of Crystal Ballroom and book it down Burnside to hop in line for another show: the Sheffield-native band, Arctic Monkeys.

Arctic was a band I had been waiting for a very long time to see, and it was probably the best birthday gift ever when they announced, on my 16th, Portland as part of a very small North American tour to be held in December.

Though I got a pretty solid spot at the beginning, not too far from the stage, I didn’t hold this spot for long, for as soon as the first notes of Do I Wanna Know? sounded, the entire room became an ever-shifting mass.

Before Arctic could take the stage, the opening band, Battleme, played their set “purely for your enjoyment”, they told us. I wasn’t too enjoyed by them. The anticipation for the power of Monkeys just couldn’t compare to the light garage rock feel of Battleme. It probably didn’t help that only minutes before, my dreams had come true.

Once Arctic took the stage though, everything changed. Arctic Monkeys will probably go down in history as one of the most insane shows I’ve ever been to.

Arctic rocks hard live, and by doing so, the crowd does as well. During my favorite track, Brianstorm, I could literally lift up my feet and still move around the room without touching the ground. Also, raising your arms just slightly is apparently concert speak for “Carry me!” You ever crowd-surfed before? Neither had I.

I’m crazy about accents, so when leading man, Alex Turner, introduced the band with his line, “We’re the Arctic Monkeys from Sheffield, England,” my eyes kind of turned into little hearts.

Arctic never let the energy drop for their nearly 2 and a half hour set, and it could be that Portland never let them.

“You guys aren’t too much into the slower songs, huh? Well let’s kick it back up,” said Alex after slowing it down with Cornerstone, and right before heading into Snap Out Of It.

The night as a whole was pretty intense. From moshing to crowd-surfing to a pretty much room-sized cloud of marijuana smoke, Arctic totally meets my mark for most insane show. You can bet that next time Arctic is anywhere near Portland, I’ll be there. And I highly recommend you go as well. Just be prepared to get crazy!

So, that closed night two of my December to Remember, probably the most memorable night of not only December, but of my life. The next Two Months Since… will be coming your way on February 6th, with a review of Young the Giant’s Crystal Ballroom show featuring The Colourist, and as a last-last minute add on, Morning Teleportation.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this GIF of Ella being adorable as usual.



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