weather icon Partly Cloudy

Lorde leads caravan of Coachella acts coming to Las Vegas

One of the reasons that Lorde has become a pop star is that she has no business being a pop star to begin with.

At least not if you listen to her tell it.

Perpetually black clad like a storm cloud casting shade on the top of the charts, the 17-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter exudes a kind of knowing, deliberate indifference.

“It’s a new artform, showing people how little we care,” she sings on “Tennis Court,” the first track on her debut album, “Pure Heroine,” which has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide since being released in September and earned her a pair of Grammy awards.

She shouldn’t be in this position, she’s quick to remind you.

“We’ll never be royals,” Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) sings over finger-snaps on her breakout hit “Royals,” one of the biggest songs of 2013. “It don’t run in our blood. That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.”

Maybe not, but it’s most certainly available to her now in a weird twist of fate: the misfit who’s become the cool kid, her success celebrated with a shrug of her shoulders.

The sound of “Pure Heroine” Lorde’s nonchalance: It’s a hypnotic, minimalist album, for the most part, predicated upon slow building tension and gradual release, delayed gratification in the form of pinging, barely there beats and her unadorned vocals, which can go from somnolent to sirenlike in the span of a few bars in songs that reference hip-hop and electro-pop in their sparest incarnations.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lorde goes from here, as much of “Heroine” is about finding contentment with one’s lot in life no matter how shabby, about being happy with what you have even if what you have isn’t much.

But now, the spotlight is firmly trained on her, and all that dark clothing must make its glare especially hot.

Testifying to her ever-rising profile, Lorde is one of the higher-billed acts at the Coachella music festival in Southern California this weekend and next, and as is the case this time every year, numerous bands playing the event stop here to and from the fest.

Lorde, who headlines the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Tuesday and Wednesday, is but one of a bevy of Coachella acts performing here in the coming weeks.

Here are a few other notables:

■ Mogwai, Friday, Hard Rock Live. These great Scotts transfix with a largely instrumental catalog that harnesses meticulous attention to detail and swelling volume into songs that are by turns triumphant and understated, beatific and overpowering.

■ Lana Del Rey, Friday, The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Rey’s murky, moody pop can be cartoonish and noirish, sometimes simultaneously, her singing voice deliberately flat and deadpan at times, ice-pick sharp at others. Her breakout sophomore effort, “Born to Die,” was uneven and muddled, but still compelling despite, or perhaps because of, its volatility.

■ Disclosure, Friday, Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq. “If there are boundaries, I am trying to knock them down,” guest vocalist Sam Smith sings on “Latch,” the crossover hit from these two British brothers. The same could be said of Disclosure, too, as they blur the distinctions between numerous electronic music subgenres like house, electro and dubstep.

■ Ellie Goulding, Saturday, Boulevard Pool. Her pipes are boulder-big, but this 27-year-old Brit singer generally favors breathy buoyancy over vocal bombast, wrapping her lithe voice around alternately stirring and sensual synth pop.

■ Bryan Ferry, Saturday, The Pearl at the Palms. As frontman for Roxy Music, Ferry gives voice to glam at its most sensual, artful and romanticized. On his own, he recalibrates everything from Rolling Stones standards to, most recently, 1920s jazz in distinctly urbane, debonair fashion.

■ Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Saturday, Beauty Bar. As literally named an act as they come, this raucous trio blasts forth with serrated R&B and snaggletoothed noise-funk voiced by a spasmodic frontman with the spirits of Elvis and The Cramps’ Lux Interior warring for his soul.

■ Future Islands, Wednesday, Beauty Bar. Future Islands have been building a buzz of late with their hold-nothing-back live performances, which even the curmudgeonly David Letterman was moved by when the Baltimore band performed on “The Late Show” last month. Think synth pop with its hair on fire, with lots of sweat the only thing quelling the flames.

■ Haim, Thursday, Boulevard Pool. These three sisters made the asphalt rumble with an impromptu drum jam during their set at Life Is Beautiful last fall. It was a moment that encapsulates Haim’s live performances, where their harmony-heavy pop rock becomes just plain heavy at times.

■ Chance the Rapper, Thursday, Brooklyn Bowl. This 20-year-old Chicago MC’s jazz-informed 2013 mixtape “Acid Rap” is gritty and whimsical, touching and tough-nosed all at once. It was one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop releases of the year, but perhaps the truest sign of the waves that “Acid Rap” has made is that it has elevated Chance the Rapper’s profile to the extent that he’s now getting dissed in song by Drake.

■ Motorhead, Thursday, The Pearl. So, Lemmy Kilmister, heavy metal god, what do you make of Motorhead playing in front of tens of thousands of hipsters, wannabe hipsters and decidedly nonmetal types at an event like Coachella?

“Well, they’ll just have to change to accommodate us,” he says with a hearty laugh. “We’re gonna be what we are, you know?”

They couldn’t be any other way if they tried.

And really, who would ever want them to?

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
EDC Las Vegas makes festivalgoers feel like family

Upon immersing oneself in the festival’s friendly fanaticism for three days, the question arises: Just what makes EDC elicit such a passionate response from many of its 450,000-plus annual “headliners”?

Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.