Lust for Life: Why I left Lana Del Rey’s concert early
This week, Tahlia Zangari went to the concert of one of the most beautiful and haunting voices in music today. However, her experience wasn’t quite what she expected…
Let’s get one thing clear: Lana Del Rey has one of the most phenomenal and unique voices of music today. Vocally, she can accomplish wonderful things, singing at different octaves and pulling off different genres seamlessly. But unfortunately, this review is not solely based on her voice, it’s about reviewing her whole show for what it was. Although her voice was flawless, her show was indeed flawed.
And so, her concert began. There was only one Sydney show for Lana’s LA to the Moon Tour, which was promoting her latest album, Lust for Life. Lana walked onto the stage, after a short retro-looking clip of Sydney Harbour, and for some reason lip-synced the first verse of 13 Beaches, which I found strange, but I let it slide. I was just super hyped that I was finally going to witness the dark, twisted and beautiful spectacle that is Miss Del Rey. But little did I know that this strangeness was going to continue…
Lana Del Rey is known for her dark persona and gives an overall vintage, 1960’s, cinematic vibe in her music. However, this was lost in translation on stage. There weren’t any cinematic qualities during the show. It was just your typical Qudos Bank Arena performance with strobe lights and projections. In terms of Lana’s personality, she seems like a friendly girl-next-door type. Which is fine, she seems lovely. But I came for the Lana that sings about sex and drugs and was in a cult and has a history of alcoholism and… geez, this review took a dark turn.
Another thing I found weird was that Lana often would change the lyrics to her own songs. Hey, I’m not one to question someone’s artistic choices. But, I feel as though it just created awkward moments when she would be singing one thing and the audience would be singing another. This particularly annoyed me when she started singing the title track of her latest album, and did the introduction but then didn’t sing the first verse. Usually when other artists do that, they give the audience the job of singing the words, so you aren’t left with an uncomfortable silence amongst 15,000 people. Lana, on the other hand, gave no warning to the audience, did her choreography and then just sang the chorus. *cue a lot of confused faces in the audience* Not to mention the fact that The Weeknd’s feature on the song was completely cut out. So not only did Lana not singing part of the song, the entire thing was cut short. At this point, I was low key angry at the lack of The Weeknd and also Lana herself.
Okay also, this concert was so freaking quiet. Like seriously, it was creepy. I could hear the people around me without needing to yell. At a point of the night, I looked around to the people in the seats and pretty much everyone was sitting down. This might just be because Lana’s music isn’t something you can dance to. She’s like Adele in the sense that they both have slow and emotional songs. The difference is, Adele would speak to the crowd after every song, and make the crowd feel welcome. The most Lana did was announce what songs she was singing next, and then she didn’t even sing them properly.
Along with that, the actual direction of the concert seemed sloppy. Lana would go into the crowd and take the microphone with her, causing it to reverberate and make that awful, “SKREEEAAACHHH,” sound. Lana would often ask her band what song is next, which is understandable as I imagine it would be difficult to remember what song is next when you are performing 20-or-so songs. You could say it was spontaneous. I say it was under-rehearsed. Occasionally, the band would tell her what song was next and she would respond by saying, “I don’t even know that song.” A lot of people in the crowd laughed at her quirkiness. I was just thrown off completely. How do you not know the words to your own songs?
However, something I can’t fault her own is how much she genuinely care about her fans. She kept going into the crowd, taking photos with those in the front row and collected gifts that they had brought her. It was cute, but at the same time, everyone in the arena paid around the same price for their tickets, yet they didn’t get the same amount of interaction. I understand that the people in the front row probably waited for hours, but is it fair that they get the full concert experience whilst other people in other sections don’t?
And so, her final song, Off to the races, started playing. Although it was one of her more exciting songs, by this point, I was over it. I started walking out half way through the song, trying to beat the crowd back to the parking lot. Overall, I felt pretty let down by her concert. Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe my expectations where too high. But I can’t sugar coat it the fact that I didn’t enjoy this concert.
Tahlia Zangari is a second-year Public Communications student who is crazy about music and broke from all the concerts she attends…please send her money. You can check out the latest music she’s obsessed with and Lana Del Rey’s setlist on her Spotify, here.