Classic, poetic, youthful…just a few of the many words to describe the wonder that is Lana Del Rey. Nominated for her first Grammy award this year for her album “Lust For Life”, Lana has been making waves in the alternative pop music scene since 2012 with her hit “Video Games”, which catapulted her to fame.
Lana has graduated from performing in small theaters to now nearly selling out whole arenas across the country. I have had the opportunity to see Lana perform four other times previously, from small theaters, to cemeteries in Hollywood, to her current arena tour. As someone who has seen her grow as an artist and musician, it’s very impressive to see how far she has come. But what is it that makes Ms. Del Rey so attractive? Is it her angelic voice and lyrical nostalgia? Is it her warm compassion and love for her fans? Or is it her genuine personality and the fact that what you see is what you get?
Lana doesn’t put on the typical concert. Yes, she has a set of songs she and her band have rehearsed, and yes, she has her choreography for particular songs. But Lana has a knack for the unexpected, taking song requests right on the spot during her show and even singing unreleased songs. This makes her a unique act and a true surprise at every show in the fact that you never really know what you’re going to get until you attend.
Lana opened the show in Phoenix, Arizona at Talking Stick Resort Arena with the sultry “13 Beaches”, surrounded by a stage setup of palm trees, boulders, beach lounge chairs, and a backdrop of McWay Falls in Big Sur, CA. She performed many hits off of her new album, such as “Cherry”, “Lust For Life”, and “Love”, with her signature home videos of vintage film compilations playing in the background. She also performed classics like “Summertime Sadness”, “Born to Die”, and “National Anthem”, creating a hearty set list of old and new for the audience to enjoy. She even performed accapella versions of “Terrence Loves You”, and “Get Free”, requested by members of the audience.
Of course no show would be complete for Ms. Del Rey without a five-minute interlude of interacting with her fans in the front of the pit, a tradition at every show. For a few lucky fans, they get a moment to take a photo, have her sign an autograph, or just exchange a few words with their favorite singer. Despite a few dangerous run ins with obsessed fans, Lana has made herself very accessible to her fan base and has allowed them to get to know her on a more personal level. The extra mile Lana goes for her fans has made her a standout in the ranks of performers today.
Lana Del Rey is a true class act in a world where originality and genuine passion lack at times. Although her North American tour is at its end with only three stops left in San Diego, Las Vegas, and Honolulu, she is not an act you want to miss, and if you’re lucky enough even meet – Dylan Tracy contributed this review. (Edited by Tim Nasson).
Photos courtesy of Dylan Tracy.