Lorde is barely old enough to drink in the United States, but she’s demonstrated her love of classic rock on multiple occasions. She covered Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” sang a harrowing rendition of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and recently showed up on Marc Maron’s podcast to discuss her love of Fleetwood Mac.
Now Lorde’s love of classic rock has reached Bruce Springsteen. Her rendition of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” during a performance in Christchurch, New Zealand made headlines around the world, as she hews close to the original with a stripped down performance.
“I’m On Fire” was the counterpoint to The Boss’ screaming performance of “Born in the USA” from the Born in the USA album. The song is a quiet, searing pean to desire. In Lorde’s hands, it’s a faithful interpretation made more urgent because it is sung by a young woman, putting the original in a new light.
Lorde explained to the audience of her native Kiwis that the idea for the cover came about because she and her guitarist Ray Suen were playing around with the song during soundcheck. She called her cover an “experiment,” and noted she learned about the song while writing her album Melodrama.
While Lorde described “I’m On Fire” as a “special one,” Springsteen thinks Lorde is pretty special herself. Springsteen played her hit “Royals” live during a performance in New Zealand three years ago. Springsteen’s gesture so touched Lorde that she got “teary-eyed” when she was told he performed her song.
Springsteen rarely performs contemporary song by other artists.”My Twitter went mental. Everyone in New Zealand was like ‘You can’t believe what just happened!’,” Lorde back in March of 2014. “It was so exciting. It was the highest honor. He’s such an incredible songwriter. I got a little teary. It was very cool.”
In other Lorde news, the unique talent surprised her fans by leaving surprise gifts around her hometown. Lorde turned 21 on November 7, so on the 6th, she tweeted “DUNEDIN: left a little package in the city library behind this book. see you tonight.” A lucky fan found the unexpected gift, two tickets to the upcoming show and a t-shirt drawn on by Lorde. The next day, Lorde struck again, this time hiding a present behind a statue of a gorilla in Christchurch.
Lorde’s tour for Melodrama continues throughout New Zealand in November. Early reviews of the Lorde concert experience were dynamite, with audiences praising her spellbinding performances. Lorde was born in Auckland with the given name of Ella Yelich-O’Connor. Her last performance in New Zealand was four years ago when she was just 17, so anticipation was sky high.
Although it took four years for Lorde to record a new album, don’t expect the singer to record again any time soon. Lorde recently announced she could see herself waiting ten years to drop her next album. Lorde said the creative process takes time and she didn’t ever want to rush it. Of course like all statements made when one is 21, take it with such a gigantic grain of salt.
You can watch Lorde’s performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” in this video.