WASHINGTON, DC: Lorde performs a sold-out show at Echostage. March 7, 2014. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

What happens when you throw Lorde and her meditative songs into a cavernous warehouse of a venue originally built for EDM acts and raves? Not surprisingly, something a bit weird.

As an artist and performer, Lorde certainly didn’t disappoint last Friday at her sold-out show at Echostage; her vocals were spot-on and impressively faithful to the recordings that have saturated radio in recent months. Her set lasted slightly more than an hour, with no encore, and included the entirety of her debut album Pure Heroine plus a few covers and nonalbum songs. The ubiquitous “Royals” appeared near the end of the set, of course, and earned a huge singalong and what seemed like thousands of raised smartphones recording the moment.

Over the course of those 70 minutes, one couldn’t help but think that Lorde’s music—-which despite its bewitching hooks and occasional big beats is, at its core, pretty minimalist and quiet—-would be more appropriate for a rapt small-club audience instead of the raucous, big-stage setting. Still, it’s pretty unfair to criticize an artist for her success, especially when the success story in question is so dramatic and compelling.

See a few more photos from this show in the full slideshow.

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