Lana Del Rey went through phases onstage Saturday night.
She spent some time on the floor, pensive, singing "Pretty When You Cry" on top of a pile of her dancers. She later brought more energy, launching herself out into the audience on a swing adorned with her signature flowers to grace the audience with the sleepy melody of "Video Games."
Her fans, most of whom knew each and every song within the first three notes, dug out their white flower crowns from their 2010s Tumblr days to celebrate a memorable, sold-out performance at West Palm Beach's 20,000-seat iThink Financial Amphitheatre.
For Miamians who live 70 miles away from the venue, it was well worth the trip up the Turnpike.
the best reputation as a live performer, but her post-COVID-19 return to South Florida was nothing short of astonishing. She transformed the venue into a makeshift church with a congregation of which only she could be the pastor. A religious experience it was.
It's been more than five years since Del Rey performed in South Florida. When she announced her sixth headlining tour in August, limited to ten shows, fans were surprised to see two Florida dates on the list.
And even though she didn't elect to perform her song "Florida Kilos" — a nod to the region's relationship with cocaine — Del Rey showed the state love, sharing her excitement to return to "close the Everglades, close my dad's home."
Opener Zella Day, a throwback for alternative music fans everywhere, got some scattered cheers despite her best efforts, mostly catching the audience's attention when she pointed out the show to come. She was able to throw in some newer songs, too, off her 2022 album, Sunday in Heaven.
Anticipation was at an all-time high after Day left the stage. Fans jumped out of their seats and screamed at the array of production crew members who came out to set the stage, somehow mistaking them for the main act.
Some boyfriends, dads, and sugar daddies caught the show — and, trust, they were getting into it — but Saturday's concert was an affair for the girls and the gays. And even though she probably couldn't see the extent of it from the stage, Del Rey later acknowledged this, thanking the girls for bringing their boyfriends and the boyfriends for sticking with it.
The concert was Del Rey's version of an Eras Tour, taking the crowd through some of her most recognizable hits, all the way from her mainstream breakout songs "Summertime Sadness" and "Young and Beautiful" to newer hits "Norman Fucking Rockwell" and "Chemtrails Over the Country Club." Playing some of her more mainstream, earlier hits ensured even the boyfriends could sing along.
Del Rey's brand of soft, understated music can be tricky to adapt live. In addition to performing on the floor, she spent an entire song sitting, having a dancer tie her hair up.
Still, she packed in some flair in there — particularly with an abbreviated version of "A&W," which cued everyone into the fact that it was, indeed, time to dance like an "American whore."
It was a reminder that Del Rey's early music did serve as the backdrop for many people's years of teen and tweendom. And it was encouraging to see that she's raising a new generation of tweens and teens even younger than me who showed out in full force.
Del Rey appeared impressed with her Florida children toward the end, as she closed the night with a powerful rendition of "Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd," led by her remarkable trio of backup singers.
"I'm going to remember this night," Del Rey said with a subtle smile, gazing out at a sea of phone cameras lit up and swaying to the melody of "Ocean Blvd." It's safe to say that everyone in the room will remember, too.
- "Norman Fucking Rockwell"
- "Young and Beautiful"
- "Chemtrails Over the Country Club"
- "The Grants"
- "Pretty When You Cry"
- "Stand by Your Man" (Tammy Wynette cover)
- "Blue Jeans"
- "Born to Die"
- "Diet Mountain Dew"
- "Summertime Sadness"
- "Video Games"
- "Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd"