Monday, April 15, 2024

Oh Lorde! Pop Star’s Tour is A Royal Bust, What Turned Everyone Off? The Grammy Flap? The Israel Boycott?


Fame and success are fleeting, we know that. Sadly, 21 year old New Zealand pop star Lorde is learning that the hard way. Her American tour, going on right now, is a royal bust.

I say royal because Lorde’s only big hit was called “Royals.” Remember how everyone was so gaga for her?

Tonight she’s playing the Gila River Arena in Arizona. There are huge chunks of seats empty. You can buy whole rows almost anywhere in the building.

Things get worse as you go through her tour schedule, particularly in the New York area. You don’t have to go to StubHub, either. Just check Ticketmaster. For the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 4th, I was able to locate blocks of 24 seats together in almost every section. For other dates, it was possible to buy 8 seats together in dozens of locations.

What turned everyone off to Lorde? I do think it’s tied to her boycott of Israel. She decided not to play Tel Aviv on the advice of Roger Waters, who also boycotts Israel without realizing he’s instigating anti-Semitism.

Lorde’s decision was a  direct factor in her not being invited to sing solo on the Grammy Awards. She was the only nominee for Album of the Year who was snubbed. She tried to turn it into an anti-woman thing, which was ridiculous. When I saw her at the Universal Music after party I asked one of their people what they thought of her Israel decision. The exec said, “Why don’t you go there and ask her?” (I only didn’t because I didn’t want to cause a scene in a small space.)

But clearly, Lorde’s position on Israel has killed her tour. Do I blame her? Well, she’s young, she’s in an isolated place (NZ) and maybe doesn’t have the sophistication to understand the consequences of her actions. Now, I guess, she will.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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