Lana Del Rey played Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre last night (June 3), debuting a brand new song, ‘Body Electric’, at the show. Scroll down to watch fan-shot footage of the track.
The show was her first official LA gig in six months and the first of three dates that sold out in a matter of minutes. Despite the backlash against Lana Del Rey which reached its Stateside fever pitch in January, when she spectacularly crashed and burned on Saturday Night Live in what many viewers declared the worst musical performance in the series’ 37 years, the El Rey audience was incredibly supportive. In fact, the only complaint concertgoers seemed to have was that her set ended 20 minutes earlier than advertised.
Taking the art deco venue’s stage, which was decorated with artificial flowers and lavish topiary shrubs, Lana emerged at 10pm (PT) wearing a modest white sundress and nearly waist-length hair topped with a Priscilla Presley-worthy bouffant. She was greeted with wild screams from her admirers, many of whom were wearing floral garlands on their heads in tribute to the singer’s early press shots. “You’re so beautiful!”, “I fucking love you!” and “Nice lips!” were among the crowd’s cries.
It was difficult to discern just how nervous Lana was, since she performed the show almost entirely in silhouette in front of a video-screen backdrop of found footage, but the audience adoration definitely seemed to give her a much-needed confidence boost. She even broke character a few times, giggling and grinning between songs, doing a coquettish dance to mimic the footage of Jessica Rabbit screening on the wall behind her, and kneeling down to grab delighted fans’ outstretched hands.
As for her notoriously shaky vocals, Lana sounded surprisingly strong. Sparsely backed by a string section and no live drummer, her vocals were front and centre and rarely faltered. Lana only performed 10 songs (including the brand-new ‘Body Electric’ in which she declared “Jesus is my bestest friend”), warning the audience that there would be no encore and bidding fans farewell with a breezy “I fucking love you.” And she definitely left the fans – who milled about long after the houselights were switched on, before finally reluctantly accepting that Lana would not return to the stage – wanting more.
Said concertgoer Don Andrews: “I love her, so I wish the show was longer. Forty minutes wasn’t enough, but the time we had with her was amazing.” Said another spectator, Christopher Phillips: “I wish there’d been an encore. Just give me one goodbye tease! But I was surprised by how good she was. I’d definitely go see her again, but hopefully for a longer show.”
Fans seemed impressed by Lana’s brief concert, with Samantha Pinsky defending Lana with: “People say she can’t sing live because of her Saturday Night Live performance, but she can totally sing.” Another fan, Claire Keifer, agreed: “You can tell that it was her singing. She’s real. And she can really, really sing.”
Lana Del Rey returns to the El Rey for two more sold-out shows tonight (June 4) and tomorrow (5).
Lana Del Rey played:
‘Born To Die’
‘Million Dollar Man’
Reporting by Lyndsey Parker