In a way, this was the show I was most interested in seeing. Not because I was particularly interested in her music, but mainly because I wanted to see what all the excitement – polarizing as might have been – was all about. Who was this mysterious Elizabeth Woolridge Grant? The poor woman’s Lady Gaga.
The first thing about Lana Del Rey was her set. It was spectacular. The giant screen, the blaring, multi-coloured. And the best part? Smack dab at centre stage was a giant wicker chair that looked like it was shipped and transported directly from Westeros. When Lana sat in it, she became her own version of Daenerys Targaryen. She probably didn’t have a bunch of siblings murdered though. That was the good part.
What I didn’t like was the fact that she was smoking on stage, in between songs. (Sometimes in between verses). While in a way, it shows that she doesn’t care and arguably makes her a badass, it also shows that she doesn’t care about herself. Her voice will suffer and her looks might as well. As it was an outdoor show, I was happy that I chose to sit far back and thus was probably spared from inhaling her fumes (I do enough of that a day thanks to my roommate). She was also quite hammered and at one point, sounded as if she had an off-British accent. But that’s Lana. It also may have broken a bylaw, but I don’t really care about that and neither did Lana or the fans. Let’s break all the laws we want. Okay, maybe not. But let’s not try to police shit either. They certainly didn’t at the PNE Ampitheatre, and I am thankful for that. People were having a good time, even if it was starting to rain.
As this my first large-scale true pop concert, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the music side of it. It’s nice to see that pop music has evolved from the lip-synching days of Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson, into a more well-rounded, visual-based and stylistic show. Even if it is manufactured. But every artist is, in a way, a creation. At the very least they are extensions of ourselves as people.
What Lana Del Rey lacks in raw vocal talent, she more than makes up for with visual imagery. The aforementioned set, the lights, even her fashion choices all added to a friendly Sunday night. She is soft-spoken and very carefree, which is what endears fans to her. Speaking of fans, this may been my loudest concert ever. Not because of the music. Because of the screams; I have never heard such volume. And I have been to KISS, Motorhead, Tool and a host of other stadium shows. Rock and metal fans are loud and brash, pop fans are excitable, worshipping little chihuahuas. But Lana has cultivated her image around the yelling and the excitement and everything else that comes with it, so she knows what to expect.
While she has a number of hits – none of which I know – I did feel that she played too many of them too soon. Thus, the show kind of had an up-and-down feeling most of the night. Although she did save her biggest for last. So overall, a stellar, above average night drinking, smoking, straight west-coastin. A lovely, modern, 21st Century pop spectacle.
Photo – http://www.gigslutz.co.uk
Lana Del Rey’s new album – Ultraviolence – will be released June 16 in the UK and June 17 in the US.
1) Who was the host for Lana’s much talked about SNL episode?
2) Which former SNL cast member impersonated her a week after her episode?
3) What did Lana study during her stint at Fordham University?