Concert Review: Lana Del Rey

Lana+Del+Rey+performing+%E2%80%9COff+To+The+Races%E2%80%9D+during+the+second+half+of+the+October+6%2C+2019%2C+concert+at+The+Greek+Theatre+in+Berkeley%2C+CA.
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Concert Review: Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey performing “Off To The Races” during the second half of the October 6, 2019, concert at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA.

Lana Del Rey performing “Off To The Races” during the second half of the October 6, 2019, concert at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA.

Diego Alfaro

Lana Del Rey performing “Off To The Races” during the second half of the October 6, 2019, concert at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA.

Diego Alfaro

Diego Alfaro

Lana Del Rey performing “Off To The Races” during the second half of the October 6, 2019, concert at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA.

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Lana Del Rey has been widely known for her angelic vocals and dreamy, powerful music. Her debut album Born To Die has been charting on the Billboard 200 list since its release in 2012, earning it over 320 weeks on the chart. 

 

She rose to fame when her song “Video Games” blew up in the same year after artist The Weeknd reposted a clip of it. She immediately gained attention and was soon signed to a record label. Del Rey has a total of six studio albums with her recent album “Norman F***ing Rockwell” earning her the highest-rated female album on Pitchfork this decade. Del Rey has recently joined The Washington Post’s list of The Five Most Influential People This Decade making herself the only musician on that list. She also was nominated for the “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” awards for the 62nd Grammys in 2020.

 

This year, both Diego and I got the chance to go to our first Lana Del Rey concert after years of being fans. Diego got to go with his friend and her sister and I went with his best friend. Although we didn’t sit near each other, we still had relatively the same experience and both enjoyed the show.

 

Diego: I have been a fan of Lana for years. Ever since I heard  the “Gods and Monsters” cover by Jessica Lange on “American Horror Story: Freakshow,” I began to grow even more feelings toward her and her music. After I watched the cover and discovered more of her music later on, I realized I had heard multiple songs from her before. Not only was this my first Lana Del Rey concert, but also my first concert in general, this made it so much more exciting, memorable, and special.

 

Elias: The first time I listened to Lana del Rey was back in 2013 when I heard her song “Blue Jeans” in a video on Instagram. This was my second concert that week, so I was very excited and thrilled to see another one of my favorite artists besides Charli XCX.

 

Diego: Some people may see Del Rey’s music as gloomy and dull and misinterpret the art within each project. However, I see the music as inspiring and hopeful. Her lyrics are surprisingly meaningful in today’s day and age.

 

Elias: I think it comes as a shock to people sometimes when you’re used to rap music it’s kind of a shock going from a song that is 220+ bpm, to a song by Del Rey which is usually under 100 bpm. I also think that the lyrics are the most important part. I’m a huge fan of electronic hyper-pop music but I can still appreciate Lana’s work because the message resonates with me.

 

Diego: I loved the swing with flowers on it. From my seat, I had a clear view of the swing since it was right in front. It looked like she was swinging towards us. I was really impressed on how Lana’s team kept the Greek architecture of the theater and implemented Del Rey’s California vibe to it. It didn’t seem off-putting or anything it surprisingly fit very well. Overall, I was pleased with the stage decorations.

 

Elias: The venue was magical. There were two large trees on each side of the entrance and both had blue christmas lights wrapping the tree all the way to the leaves. There was also a wooden swing that was a recurring motif all through her shows on this tour.

 

Diego: I really enjoyed when she sang “California” with the crowd. It was such a sentimental time singing with her. I had messed up some lyrics and it made me feel awkward because no one around was singing, but then I checked and realized they were all drinking or smoking so I didn’t care so that was fun.

 

Elias: My favorite part of the show was probably the first minute. Seeing Lana in person for the first time was mind-blowing and not only that but the beginning of the first song she sang, “Norman F***ing Rockwell”, was so powerful that I got chills. NME magazine even named her opening line “Goddamned man-child / You f***ed me so good that I almost said ‘I love you’” as the best opening line for an album this decade and I agree.

 

Diego: There were a few times when the people around us sang or made any noise at all was when Lana entered the stage and sang her first few songs. After that it kind of died down. The crowd was never completely silent though, except for when Del Rey brought out Adam Cohen to sing their song “Chelsea Hotel” and Joan Baez to sing “Diamonds and Rust” I don’t think people were very excited for the two and I certainly wasn’t.

 

Elias: Even though I went to see Lana, I was still a bit disappointed that the fans weren’t as enthusiastic as I thought they would be. The people around me only sang a few of her most popular songs and many of the people there were UC Berkeley students who went only because they get a student discount and had only heard of Lana from her song “Summertime Sadness” which blew up massively in 2014. 

 

Diego: I agree, the only few times when the people around us sang or made any noise at all was when Lana entered the stage and sang her first few songs. After that it kind of died down. The crowd was never completely silent though, except for when Del Rey brought out Adam Cohen to sing their song “Chelsea Hotel” and Joan Baez to sing “Diamonds and Rust” I don’t think people were very excited for the two and I certainly wasn’t.

 

Elias: My friend and I were the only ones who sang the entirety of “Off To The Races”. It was kind of disappointing to see a lady beside us only know “Summertime Sadness” and “Doin’ Time”, her two most popular songs. We were bawling our eyes out to songs like “Video Games” and “Black Beauty” and many people near us were busy arguing or just talking through the performances.

 

Diego: My friend and I sang our lungs off in songs like “Bartender,” “Born To Die,” “Blue Jeans”, and especially during “Off To The Races,” that song is just so crazy that it wouldn’t make sense to not sing or dance to it”

 

Elias: I didn’t like any of the special guests at all. I expected the first one to be Stevie Nicks because she is featured on “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems”, a song from Lana’s previous album ‘Lust for Life’. She had brought out Sean Ono Lennon for her show in New York but she instead brought out Joan Baez and Adam Cohen to sing “Diamonds and Rust” and “Chelsea Hotel”. Some people were probably impressed but a man behind me was complaining and I would’ve preferred she had saved that time to sing some of her own songs instead.

 

Diego: Previous shows had different special guests that I enjoyed hearing through my phone screen. I wish I could’ve enjoyed the ones at our show the same. They were pretty decent. I found them kind of annoying because they sang two songs which made me realize that was time taken out of the set list. I considered going to the bathroom during their performances, that’s how boring they were.

 

Elias: I really enjoyed the show as well. Even though my friend and I didn’t get the best seats, Lana’s stage presence and energy made up for it. Compared to other artists, Lana knows how to balance a calm, mature performance with an enthusiastic one. She was never boring despite her music being slow, she was always surprising us with things like glitter, visuals, and props like the wooden swing. The fans were not nearly as nice or crazy as Charli XCX fans per se, but I was there for Lana regardless of the audience.

Diego: Overall, I enjoyed this show a lot. While there isn’t anything to compare it to for me, it was everything I would expect from her. Her angelic voice, enthusiastic dancers, and the overall vibe to it made it a wonderful experience. I would give it a score of 9/10 just because there was a personal situation that made it get a 9.