Last night in Brooklyn, Lorde played a show at Barclays Center. Partway through, she brought out a surprise guest — Jack Antonoff. Gossip-lovers in the audience perked up, as rumors of a romance between the two musicians have swirled since news broke about the dissolution of Antonoff’s relationship with Lena Dunham. But both Antonoff and Lorde have denied the speculation, and he’s been linked instead to model and artist Carlotta Kohl. Still, as Antonoff and Lorde played music together onstage, something seemed to be happening between them. But what?
Lindsey Weber: So we ran into each other BEFORE Lorde went on, while I was eating a really overpriced hot dog. But we did not discuss Jack Antonoff … did it even occur to you he might be there?
Mariah Smith: I, for whatever reason, NEVER IN 1 MILLION YEARS thought Jack would be in that building.
Lindsey Weber: Really? He lives like … down the street. Haven’t you heard the tales of that Brooklyn Heights apartment?
Mariah Smith: No! TEACH ME.
Lindsey Weber: Jack and Lorde recorded a bunch of stuff at his house!
Mariah Smith: Is that where Lena’s dog lived? The one she sold? [Dunham rehomed her dog last year.]
Lindsey Weber: Ha! I think Lorde was a very, very, very frequent visitor to that apartment. But also! He didn’t come from there. He came from Madison Square Garden — because earlier in the night, he opened for Pink. Did he fly??
Mariah Smith: YES, he opened! How did he get there so quickly?
Lindsey Weber: I gotta say, when Lorde said she had a guest, I knew it was him and I was honestly kind of mad. It’s NEW YORK — you can get ANYONE.
Mariah Smith: I was in a box (lmao), and there was a lot of chatter that she would bring out, like, Jay-Z or something …
Lindsey Weber: LOL. C’mon.
Mariah Smith: … not a random white person from New Jersey, no offense.
Lindsey Weber: But honestly, the show was amazing. And then … “I have a guest.” Guess who, it’s Jack.
Mariah Smith: Jack, who is chewing gum, and looks like a kid in a candy store seeing “Ella.” The way he called her “Ella” so many times was a hate crime.
Lindsey Weber: I know, she was like, “YOU’RE CHEWING GUM?” And he was like, “Babe.” (He didn’t say that, but could you hear him saying that?)
Mariah Smith: He might as well have!
Lindsey Weber: They were FULL-ON FLIRTING for an arena of people! People even reported some knee-stroking.
Mariah Smith: The minute Jack came out, Lorde was practically spread-eagle in his lap.
Lindsey Weber: He revealed she eats bodega sushi, which I honestly loved.
Mariah Smith: And she walks barefoot on New York City streets!
Lindsey Weber: And then she faced him directly because he was playing guitar as she sang … at him. Gazing into each other’s eyes!
They did one song sitting down on the stage [a cover of St. Vincent’s “New York”], and then he played in the back. That was my other favorite part — after the first song they did together, she went, “Oh why don’t you just sit here for the next one?” And he was like, “I’d rather play?” Then HE LEFT to go to the back.
Mariah Smith: She seemed to clench tightly as he got up …
Lindsey Weber: My question for you: What did she want at that time?
Mariah Smith. She wanted that D. Or, she was hoping he would kiss her.
Lindsey Weber: So do you think that was a display of requited or unrequited love?
Mariah Smith: I think in her heart of hearts, she would have been thrilled by kissing him onstage in front of an arena full of people and being front-page news the next day. It’s such a young-20s move.
Lindsey Weber: It is! And she did go on that whole rant about doing whatever the fuck you want even if your friends say you’re EXTRA.
Mariah Smith: SHE DID!
Lindsey Weber: Lorde’s friends: Ella, please chill. Lorde: No.
Mariah Smith: Back to THE SONG [St. Vincent’s “New York”]. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear that song again without feeling sick.
Lindsey Weber: You wanted a different cover?
Mariah Smith: This is a song I’d LOVE to hear in other circumstances — like if I were like super upset after not falling in love on a first date.
Lindsey Weber: But you have to admit, it’s like … the most telling song.
Mariah Smith: If there’s not something going on, picking this song was her openly admitting her feelings for him. But if there IS, then this choice was just some nasty bedroom stuff brought to the stage.
Lindsey Weber: It’s all, REMEMBER WHEN I LIVED IN NYC AND WE HUNG OUT ALL THE TIME.
Mariah Smith: AND WE MADE THIS “RECORD.”
Lindsey Weber: Another fun fact: He’s “dating” the model whose butt is on the cover of the St. Vincent album.
Mariah Smith: LINDSEY PLEASE VENMO ME $1,500 BECAUSE I JUST THREW MY COMPUTER.
Lindsey Weber: LOL, SORRY.
Mariah Smith: Right, after seeing what we saw, do you think Jack is really dating that model?
Lindsey Weber: Well, if he’s not and it’s just a weird cover-up … I keep wondering how long he and Lorde have to “wait” to come out with it.
Mariah Smith: There’s no way they aren’t effing. Or haven’t come close. I know God didn’t put me on this earth to speculate about Lorde’s sex life, but here I am.
Lindsey Weber: I don’t know. After seeing this I was more convinced that she was in love with him but her feelings aren’t … reciprocated.
Mariah Smith: REALLY.
Lindsey Weber: Or! They kissed once or twice and never again.
Mariah Smith: He seemed at the very least flattered by her attention.
Lindsey Weber: I will say, in retrospect, it made the show even better.
Mariah Smith: It did! I was SHOCKED at how many people in attendance were shook by what happened.
Lindsey Weber : I just feel like we were treated (?) to a very RAW encounter.
Mariah Smith: We were! Everyone was talking about it post show.
Lindsey Weber: Even if you love Lorde, you had to speculate! I feel like she knows what she’s doing.
This is beyond a privacy thing. He could’ve arrived on Pink’s back, flying across Barclays … and this would still be more thrilling to watch.
Mariah Smith: Is this Lorde leaning into the celebrity life?
Lindsey Weber: In what way?
Mariah Smith: I think Lorde knows that she’s a part of this super-gossipy conversation, and that must be exciting. So why not tease the people? Celebrities have that power.
Lindsey Weber: And if she’s as dramatic as she makes herself out to be, she loves it. I just looked up her sign — Scorpio.
Mariah Smith: YES. My Google just told me that too. Wait, what if this was PERFORMANCE ART?
Lindsey Weber: SUCH A SCORPIO MOVE.
Mariah Smith: WERE WE TRICKED AND THIS IS THE CONVO SHE WANTS? I’m shaking. Were we had?!
Lindsey Weber: I feel like I am very gullible, but! This felt way too raw. If it was some sort of stunt, Lorde’s a great actress. And you know what else I kept thinking … she and Taylor Swift must get along really well.
Mariah Smith: Ew, but true. I dunno, I fundamentally dislike and distrust TS. It’s hard for me to imagine her with friends.
Lindsey Weber: The extra-ness of it all felt very familiar. I mean, maybe Lorde is more authentic than TS. But … MAYBE NOT.
Mariah Smith: Right, that’s the key: MAYBE. NOT.
Lindsey Weber: I guess like we should be thankful. She gave us the most compelling roller-coaster ride of a show.
Mariah Smith: I’m so happy I got to see that live.
Lindsey Weber: Me too! I finally buy into all the rumors. I was skeptical.
Mariah Smith: I was never skeptical. I knew that it was the perfect storm. Think about it: Lorde was recently single, they spent so much time together making music, and Lena is a monster. You do the math. Still — and I’m sorry — but: Jack is not cute? Why all the drama?
Lindsey Weber: Very rude! I think he’s a cutie. I do love how he went from being unsexualized to like HUNK in the tabs. We couldn’t sexualize him until now.
Mariah Smith: I still WILL NOT! If anything, he now seems sleazy.
Lindsey Weber: Sorry! It’s happening!
Mariah Smith: I just think that if you’re going to derail an entire concert for someone, shoot your shot a little HIGHER!
Lindsey Weber: Wow, this went to some dark places. But now you all know the truth!
Mariah Smith: THE. TRUTH!
This conversation has been edited and condensed.