“We love you Lana!” I screamed in a moment of sheer adoration as the teenaged girl standing next to me shyly whispered, “We really do!”
This was after a rousing live performance of “Cruel World” during the Lana Del Rey Endless Summer tour with Grimes as the opening act.
“Because you’re young, you’re wild, you’re free, you’re dancing circles around me, you’re f***ing crazy…”
Surrounded by mostly teenaged girls there with either their mothers or boyfriends, the setting was pretty surreal. Lana Del Rey fans are hard to exactly pinpoint. Let’s just put it this way – you’re not going to find screaming One Direction fans. Regardless, with a seat on row U, front and center of the stage, I could turn around and I’d see a packed out lawn area, full seated areas on either side of me, and up against the stage were the swaying Lana diehard fans. No problem with screams and applause, that’s for sure!
Grimes and her dancers started the night out just before the sun went down. It was another 90+ degree day in Charlotte and I have to hand it to them – they performed like it was literally no sweat off their backs, especially Grimes who was sporting a brace on her leg. (Video HERE.) Professionalism at its best and with the sun shining right on them, I was able to capture some of the performance really clearly. I looked around me, as I am often one to do, in order to see the reactions of other fans. Unfortunately, I don’t know that Grimes had as many fans in the audience as Lana – if some of them even knew who she was to begin with. Hopefully she made some new fans because it was a completely flawless, high energy performance and I’m so glad I caught the leg of the tour with Grimes and not with Courtney Love. Grimes’ music is very on-trend right now, and while Lana’s music is a bit harder to place in retail stores, boutique stores love Grimes’ electro pop fusion.
Next up was Lana Del Rey, who literally began her set after the sun went down. Things hadn’t cooled down very much at all, but there was a distinctive anticipation in the audience before she took the stage. There were a couple false starts if anything on the stage moved and fans started pre-maturely screaming. After the third one, she finally appeared and immediately started into “Cruel World.”
Lana Del Rey’s show was not super energetic but there’s still an underlying wave of emotion that rippled through the crowd as she crooned into the microphone, stalking the stage like prey, with black and white close-ups of her face on the large screens. She didn’t smile much nor did she really talk to the crowd except for a brief interlude when she went down into the pit in front of the stage and took some selfies with a few lucky fans.
Despite the lower tempo of the show, it was obvious that everyone who came to see her was truly a fan and likes to get lost in the world she creates in her often sad, but melodic, music. Getting lost in Lana’s fantasy world is easy; it’s escapism at its best for me (and other fans like me). In her songs, you’ll find stories of love lost, forbidden love, being light years ahead of your time, living the life of the ultimate cool girl in her favorite party dress and all the drama that comes with it. For some of the teenaged fans, this is what they live for. For others of us, we’ve lived it and came out on the other side so we can appreciate Lana Del Rey’s supposed melancholia and our expectations of the show were completely met.
Okay, back to the performance. Lana was decked out in a red “party dress” with thick-soled platform sandals. She didn’t even appear to break a sweat even as all the screaming fans were soaking wet from the humidity. The interesting mix of songs came from three of her albums plus a surprise of two newly released tracks: “Us Against The World” and “Serial Killer” – both of which you can find on YouTube.
Here she is singing “Serial Killer” to give an idea of her stage presence and the vibe of the show. For me, I really enjoyed it and came away super happy that I got to see her (and Grimes!). Both together were absolutely flawless!
Charlotte set list:
“Us Against The World”
“Born To Die”
“Chelsea Hotel No. 2” (Leonard Cohen cover)
“Shades Of Cool”
“Off To The Races”
– Submitted by Ashley Columbus-Plinzke, Music Design