Roger Friedman is a well-known American film critic and entertainment news journalist. As such, he probably knows what he is talking about when it comes to the entertainment industry.
In a recent scathing column, he reports how NZ pop star Lorde’s US tour is a bust – and he thinks he knows why.
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.
While this is speculation, Roger Friedman clearly speaks to people behind the scenes, and I am assuming it is conventional wisdom that Lorde cooked her own goose when she decided to boycott the Middle East’s only democracy. Plus remember that her decision prompted even entertainment industry executives to speak out against her.
Perhaps this will give others considering taking orders from Commandant Waters cause to rethink.
But don’t worry, Lorde. You’ll always have Russia.