Lana Del Rey
Fillmore Miami Beach
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Better Than: Staying at home, sobbing over the "West Coast" music vid.
Lana Del Rey, despite producing a steady output of mostly excellent recordings over the past few years, still somehow elicits a fairly polarizing response from people (read: Internet gnomes).
However, on Sunday night, it was as if we had walked into the Lana Del Rey fan club. The sold-out show at the Fillmore Miami Beach even attracted crowds that waited in lines that stretched around the block, just to get in to see the mercurial crooner.
See also: In Defense of Lana Del Rey
Hundreds of girls in floral dresses and Lana's trademark flower-crowns gathered on this evening to worship at the altar of their soul-pop savior. Most told us that they had gotten their headwear from Forever 21. And predictably, the crowd was overwhelmingly dominated by teens and early 20-somethings.
Fans fiendishly chanted, begging Lana to grace the stage. The set was a tableaux arrangement with props taken from her various music videos: candles, fake California palm trees, a grand piano and a large screen.
Oddly, the palm trees lacked the surreal West Coast effect that Lana was likely going for in the context of a concert on South Beach.
When Mrs. Rey finally took the mic in a chic pastel pink gown, the crowd predictably went apeshit. These were her acolytes and they would chant every word of every song for the few songs of the show.
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The deafening sing-along, combined with the conspicuously low volume offered by the Fillmore created an oft-muddled first half of the show. Lana simply wasn't loud enough to be heard, and her typically gorgeous piano and string arrangements were drowned out by an overwrought bassline that frequently droned over the actual vocals.
We don't know what the sound guy was doing for the first few songs. Maybe he, too, got lost in Lana's enigmatic and seductive gaze. At one point during "Marilyn Monroe," microphone feedback momentarily took over. This is not something one expects from a supposedly top-tier show and venue.
Sometime during "West Coast," the fourth song in the set, the levels began to normalize and Lana's tuneful and rangey croon could be heard over the noise. It also seemed that she realized how energetic the crowd was, and reacted accordingly by belting out her tunes.
Live, Lana largely dropped the brooding lounge-singer-in-the-apocalypse-act, showing off smiles and sensual grins. She is far more comfortable on the stage these days than we've seen in years past. In fact, she effortlessly owns it.
From what we saw, the crowd was under her spell for the entire hour-plus of the show.
Of course, Lana's slow- to mid-tempo jams are not the most conducive to wild dancing, so people mostly stood in place, eyes locked to the stage. We spotted at least ten people in our immediate area crying.
The best performances of the night were the ones that relied the least on the bass and percussion (though the drummer's solo for the final song, "National Anthem," absolutely crushed it) and highlighted Lana's vocals and the piano. "Young and Beautiful," "Blue Jeans," "Million Dollar Man," and "Video Games" really stood out.
During "Young and Beautiful," you could really hear and see Lana act out her paranoia and pain. "Million Dollar Man" was a slow-motion stunner and allowed Lana to really showcase her diverse vocal stylings. Smash hit "Summertime Sadness" was good, but nearly impossible to hear over the crowd.
The show ended with a lengthened performance of "National Anthem" that allowed each piece of the band to solo their shit up while Lana took selfies with the fans in the first few rows of the crowd. We like to describe this moment as the "Selfie Solo" part of the evening.
It closed out the night and cast a transcendent tint to the night, as Lana really resembled one of the doomed yet glamorous celebrity characters in one of her washed-out music videos, mingling among her acolytes.
Fun & Games: The LED screen displayed accompanying music videos for each song. A fun game to play during this was "Spot the David Lynch References," i.e. blue roses, endless highways, flame transitions, etc.
Fan Consensus: Asking four people in a row after the show what they thought, each replied, "It was awesome!" in identical tones.
Celebrity Encounter: We ran into former University of Miami and New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey, eyeing the backstage area that was being blasted by Lana's fans after the show. He was pleasantly inebriated. We played coy and pretended not to recognize him, inquiring about his opinion of the show. He said: "I don't really know much about her music, but Lana's really pretty and I wanna marry her, hey, how are you coin', I'm Jeremy Shockey!" And yes, he said that as one sentence.
Personal Bias: I like watching ladies sing. I think Lana Del Ray is cute. "Video Games" is the shit. So shoot me.
Lana Del Rey's Setlist:
-"Born to Die"
-"Young and Beautiful"
-"Gods and Monsters"
-"Million Dollar Man"
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