For many die-hard fans, Lorde's Tuesday night show began a long time before it actually began. Lined up down Mt Eden road, some of them were set up with chairs and signs when I went to get my sandwich from the bakery next door for lunch, and were still there when my flatmate and I wandered down after work.
We stared at the long, long line of dedicated Lorde lovers winding down past Satya Restaurant, past bemused diners just trying to eat their butter chicken while being stared at by well-dressed eighteen-year-olds (and I suspect from looking at them, a few 15-year-olds clutching quickly wrangled fake IDs).
We went and got a drink, and came back later.
It's a die-hard fan base Lorde clearly has not outgrown, despite arena tours and a casual Coachella set. Last night, talking to the sweaty, close-knit crowd she referenced as one being (just "Powerstation"), she paid constant tribute to her home city.
Our most successful music export constantly made references to the bars and streets of Auckland, acknowledging this was "our place". It was endearing, if a touch scripted. She even acknowledged her roots by performing a track from those early days of giving away music for free on Soundcloud (I don't want to ruin the surprise for tonight's concert-goers, but it's a goodie).
The venue was a choice many questioned, given the pop princess could have sold out Spark Arena or Western Springs no problems. But the intimacy of Powerstation worked in her favour, and in the favour of those fans in the front who had waited all day to get close to their heroine.
She blew up the room with dance tracks 'Homemade Dynamite' and 'Perfect Places', but was just as powerful sitting on the ground with a toy briefcase xylophone to play an extended intro for 'Buzzcut Season'. And when she performed an acoustic 'Liability' - sitting on the stage, just a metre or two away from those that love her most - the emotion in the room was palpable.
I was most struck by how different Lorde was to the shyly grateful teen we've seen on-stage in the past. She was sassy, and bossy, and a bit of a potty-mouth.
"Come on Powerstation," she ordered the room during one brief break. "You can't be here if you're just going to stand around. I want to see you f**king dance."
I took heed, dancing so hard during my favourite song of all time, 'Supercut', that I dropped my phone and had to crawl around under a lot of jumping Nike sneakers to retrieve it. I was a full disciple, screaming along to every song, and snapchatting with the best of them. At one point I got a peeved "we get it Sez, you're at Lorde" from a friend home in Christchurch, which showed perhaps I took it a step too far - but I just wanted to share the energy, okay?
The seamless set had only one small hiccup. The mix of the smoky room and perhaps night six of the tour choked her up in the intro to 'Sober II (Melodrama)'; the first line dissolving into coughing that of course was met with cheers and screams because she really could do no wrong for this crowd.
"Oh f**k," she choked out, chugging some water. "Let's try that again."
Take two was peppered with the occasional cough, but she was back in action. Hey, we won't hold it against her.
The best part? Her parents, the Yelich-o'Connor clan, up in the corner watching proudly like she was the lead in the school play, with her dad filming the whole thing. Because Lorde is really Ella, who grew up in this city, and who was just as excited as the rest of us that she was playing at the Powerstation in Auckland on a Tuesday.