‘She gives me hope’: Read Amanda Palmer’s reflection on Lorde’s performance at Boston Calling

Credit: Doug Orey for Vanyaland

We’re still reeling a bit from Lorde’s captivating performance last night at Boston Calling, made all the more jubilant after a three-hour rain delay that had everyone wondering if it would even happen. As lightning crashed down on City Hall Plaza early Saturday evening and performances by Girl Talk and Volcano Choir appeared unlikely, the real question was whether headlining sets by Lorde and Childish Gambino would be re-scheduled to Sunday (we’re told that wasn’t a possibility), or cancelled outright.

Thankfully, Lorde went on just after 9 p.m. as thousands of people re-entered City Hall Plaza through Congress Street. Here’s a time-lapse video of the eerie situation; packets of spectators raced towards the Red Stage, its banners blown down by the winds a few hours earlier, to get as close as possible to the 17-year-old pop megastar.

And ultimately, Lorde delivered a set that will be talked about for a long time.


As we try to find the words for it (derpy derp derp) Amanda Palmer expressed her thoughts pretty instantly through social media, calling Lorde, via twitter, a “totally gracious performer. she gives me hope.” On Facebook, she posted the longer, detailed message “Think I figured Out Why I Love Lorde So Much, With A Detour Through Lana Del Rey.”

It’s pretty on-point. Check it out below, and don’t forget, Palmer’s new book, The Art Of Asking, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Let People Help, is out November 11 via Grand Central Publishing.

Think I figured Out Why I Love Lorde So Much, With A Detour Through Lana Del Rey, by amanda palmer


just saw Lorde perform a short set at the Boston Calling Music Festival…where i stopped just for her set before heading home to the cloud club to get back to work tonight.

i’ve been listening to her debut since it came out…it provided me endless hours of listenable-brain-thought soundtrack while i wrote the book in australia. i usually get bored of an album but this one just didn’t bore me, it stuck. and stuck and stuck.

i’ve also been really loving the production on lana del rey’s records. it’s just gorgeous. really. damn. it’s just gorgeous, beautiful music. but i can’t get over not actually liking The Image, and a lot of the lyrics. it stings the music, poisons it. i’ve been trying to wrap my head around it. and trying not to judge.

lorde manages to comport herself with a kind of grace that most pop stars her age can’t manage. yet she isn’t doing the perfect tragic feminine beauty queen thing (a la lana del rey), or the art star thing (a la gaga). i believe her more. why is that?


i think it’s because she manages to be so honest in her lyrics, and in her interviews, about the fact that she isn’t perfect, doesn’t totally get it. isn’t afraid to say that she doesn’t get it, even while she’s trying to.

there’s something so refreshing about that honesty. it reminds me of the music i loved so much when i was a teenager – the cure, depeche mode, the smiths, the forthrightness of “this is where i am and this is what i am feeling and it’s weird” and there’s little filter even though it’s poetry, and sometimes pop.

i was just talking to one of my friends about my facebook post from earlier today – in which i just popped up a scared honest picture plus thoughts and feelings of feeling like i was getting old….and how weird it is.

if you’re vain, and what you’re looking for is “love”, it’s like there are two ways of getting it, two ways of showing yourself:


glamour = in which everyone will go “ooohhhh pretty!!!! we love you and feel awe and admiration because we feel the perfection of your image!!!!”


honesty = in which everyone will go “oohhh human!!! we love you and feel empathy and understanding because we feel the sameness!!!!”

i’ve been dancing between these two poles since i first started selling records and touring.


lorde is doing that same dance.

it’s what we have, at the moment…..the dance of being a woman and keeping true power.

i really hope she keeps dancing.
— with Lorde at Boston Calling Music Festival.

Here’s the message on social…