Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: Lana Del Rey at the Roundhouse for the iTunes festival

Oh Lana, where shall we begin?

The music: That was beautiful. Your acoustic re-arrangements of the Born To Die album tracks were sublime. The four-piece string quartet made the music soar, but not in the frightening, off-key way your voice did when you went for the high notes.

The stage banter: "Could I have more reverb in my ears"; "No, we don't have time for that one". It was like Billy Crystal at the Oscars. ON CRACK.

The choreography: Off. The. Chain. Remember that bit when you walked over there and waved at a guy, then walked over there and fiddled with your hair, huffing and puffing as if the gargantuan effort of it all might make you swoon? They can't teach that kind of stuff at ballet school.

The songs: Video Games, National Anthem, Summertime Sadness. They are all still brilliant. If you'd played for more than 40 minutes, maybe you could have done Off To The Races and Diet Mountain Dew, too.

And the singing. Oh, the singing. You know in La Vie En Rose, when Edith Piaf is dying of emphysema and her voice is all over the place, like a ragged sock in a tumble dryer? I enjoyed your impersonation of that. And I liked how you followed it up by saying, "You love it when I go a little bit jazzy."

But here's the thing... It might seem like I'm being negative and critical and, basically, a total bastard - but I really, really enjoyed myself.

Those songs, those arrangements, and even those languid, buttery vocals cast a bewitching, stupefying spell over the audience. I doubt another artist in the world could have pulled it off, but you managed it, you gauche pop superhero in skinny blue jeans.

Enigmatic, phlegmatic, idiosyncratic, melodramatic, hydromatic - why, it was greased lightning.

Set list
Blue Jeans
Body Electric
Born To Die
Summertime Sadness
Million Dollar Man
Video Games
Without You
National Anthem

You can watch the whole gig on iTunes now. Which is where this fantastic picture comes from...

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