Lana Del Rey
23 July 2012, The Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Guest reporter Lana says Lana Del Rey's side-shows prove that she is more than just a manufactured pop star.
It seems many either idolise or detest music’s latest "it" girl - Lana Del Rey, but the New York glamourpuss’s performance was very worthy of applause at her recent gig in Melbourne.
With a clever marketing team and a terrible TV performance posted within the depths of YouTube, there is no fault in thinking Lana Del Rey is just another manufactured, contemporary pop star.
However, at her recent Splendour in the Grass sideshows, Del Rey has proven she is anything but.
As the American super-stunner took to Melbourne’s Palace Theatre stage, initial impressions were somewhere between uncertainty and excitement.
As she gripped the microphone on the palm-tree, ivy entwined stage dressed in a gorgeous baby-blue dress and sky-high wedged sandals (the kind a girl could only pull off at a poolside wedding or on the deck of a French yacht), the highly anticipated songstress greeted the eager crowd with "Blue Jeans", a deep, dark and twisted song of love, enriched by a five-piece band.
With a brushed beehive and a modest amount of diamond jewels, Del Rey swayed in the spotlight. As the crowd clapped along in delight, the sweet-yet-sultry tone continued with "Summertime Sadness" before Del Rey crooned to the audience with an impromptu version of "Happy Birthday Mr President".
Other ballads such as "Carmen", "Million Dollar Man" and "Born to Die" were performed before the patriotic "National Anthem" closed the short set.
In keeping with Del Rey’s particular style of American nostalgia, a flickering projection of vintage imagery featured as a background to the performance (think seventies-style automobiles racing along mountain roads, children jumping into pools, vintage cartoons - even religious proverbs) as well as snippets of Del Rey’s own music clips.
There is no doubting that the persona Del Rey identifies with is somewhat majestic, but unlike other top-rating female singers of today, she manages to be human enough to emulate an air of sophistication.
Throughout the performance Del Rey’s vocals, at times, had the ability to transport the audience into her make-believe realm: a summer evening somewhere in the Hamptons, where loving tragically and living richly is key.
Lana Del Rey’s surprising performance not only proved she can perform in a live environment, but proved that the agony of heartbreak is real and darkly romantic.
3.5 out of 5.
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