Disclaimer 1: I am a Lana Del Rey fan
Disclaimer 2: I am a singer
When I first heard Lana Del Rey’s breakout single “Video Games” I have to admit…I wasn’t completely sold, but I was definitely intrigued. Her seductive tone and alto range was different and refreshing next to the powerhouse vocal stylings we’ve seemingly come to expect from female pop vocalists. She’s no Beyonce or Ariana Grande, she’s Lana. And the throng of screeching teenage girls at Wednesday night’s show proved that Lana doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone.
From the time she sauntered onstage in a simple, off the shoulder red dress with no shoes to the first line out of her mouth, “My pussy tastes like pepsi-cola”, the 6,000 sold-out theater erupted as if Harry Styles had taken his shirt off and pledged to make out with one lucky fan in attendance. I don’t even remember Justin Timberlake receiving this kind of response when I saw him in Houston a few months back. One thing is for sure, Lana’s fans could care less about her lackluster SNL performance that sent critics in a frenzy claiming the luscious lipped songstress was done, or that every news outlet in North Texas is criticizing her simplistic, haunting (and yes, somewhat pitchy) vocal abilities. So back to disclaimer 1. Yes, I am a fan, maybe not the shaking-until-I-lose-my-mind-rush-out-and-get-lip-injections type of fan, but a fan nonetheless. I was enthralled. She did what she does best. She drew the audience in with her hypnotic voice and dark songs of love, drugs and freedom.
The reasoning for disclaimer 2, I have a big voice, and I love big voices. I grew up on the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and had a choir director mother who sang her guts out on stage from the moment I was conceived. It’s easy to criticize a singer like Lana for not being “big enough” and for not delivering the show stopping performance we’ve come to expect from over the top performers like Lady Gaga and most of her pop predecessors. Yes, Lana comes across as incredibly shy onstage. Almost to the point of awkwardness, but her songs resonate, and to me, there’s nothing more important.
Getting down into the pit of fans, taking selfies and signing autographs mid-show, it’s obvious Lana loves her supporters, in fact, I would say she feeds off of it. Some would call it self-indulgent, and maybe it is, but it added to Lana’s Old-Hollywood persona that she has so perfectly crafted. From images of Marilyn Monroe to the celebrity images from her “Video Games” video, there’s a charm and mystery to Lana that eludes most artists in today’s celebrity culture.
“I feel really lucky to be singing in front of you,” she said to the thousands of screaming fans, “because there’s a connection, and you get it.”
And a connection there was…more than most shows I see. Lana fans relate and Lana loves to connect with her fans. So in my opinion, she did exactly what she set out to do Wednesday night. Put on an amazing show for her fans.
Dallas Set List:
Born to Die
Young and Beautiful
Gods & Monsters
Millions Dollar Man