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Review: Lana Del Rey at Manchester Apollo, 24th May 2013

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REVIEW: LANA DEL REY at Manchester Apollo, 24th May 2013

Anticipation: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action; the act of looking forward; of pleasurable expectation (spoken in the style of Emily Thorne from Revenge).

Lana Del Rey is not unlike the effortlessly elegant and elusive heroine of ABC/E4‘s primetime thriller; both are highly stylised, intriguingly introverted and yield a subtle power that is unmistakably and manipulatively female. I have been under the spell of both Emily and Lana for over a year now and at the Manchester Apollo last week, in much the same way as I felt when Nolan sped off with Jack and faux Amanda’s life floated away on a capsized dinghy; I couldn’t wait to see what would unfold when Del Rey took to the stage.

The capacity crowd of 3,500 fans were equally excitable and I quickly realised that I had never been to a sold out show at this venue – I wouldn’t use the word uncomfortable, but it was certainly snug in the standing area and security had to constantly berate people for standing in the gangways. I’m not sure how this came to be, as the venue would certainly not have oversold the standing ticket allocation. It was also a little unsettling to see security and St John’s Ambulance personnel running up and down the aforementioned gangways for most of the first half of the show. Admittedly, I was feeling a little anxious due to the visible police presence in the reception area of the venue and it doesn’t take much for my imagination to run wild.

Del Rey took to the 1920’s-inspired stage with all the build-up and glamour befitting a screen siren of the age. Golden chandeliers and elaborate drapes embellished the performance space and a rotating sequence of Del Rey’s music videos ran on the big screen behind the artist herself. Image is just as important as songwriting in Del Rey’s appeal to her fans, so naturally she looked every inch the fashion icon in a floaty white skater skirt and matching blouse, complete with a natural Californian tan.  Hypnotic would be an accurate way to describe Del Rey’s aura; she doesn’t say much but commands the stage with that same subtle power that I mentioned earlier. When she does address the crowd, she does so as “friends” and the adoration is clearly mutual as she is greeted with deafening and constant screams. She really does personify the notion of vintage Hollywood, with her glistening and perfectly curled hair and just a hint of naive vulnerability.

Just one thing managed to rile me throughout the show – the time Del Rey spent chatting to and having photographs taken with the entire front row contingent. The entire front row.  I recognise that this would be simply amazing if you happened to be on that front row, but for those of us who weren’t, it really wasn’t. I think if people are paying the same price to see a show then they should be treated to the same experience. I think it’s great if artists want to meet their fans but to spend close to half an hour (of an hour and 15 minutes set) doing so? The rest of us could see what was going on but were left to look at an empty stage and after around ten minutes or so, people started to grow impatient. The close relationship between Del Rey and her fans is clear to see, but Lana – spread the love a little!

I was so excited to hear Video Games and National Anthem performed live and I wasn’t disappointed. Any questions concerning vocal capabilities had been completely unnecessary – Del Rey sounded strong as she teasingly played around with the melodies to some of her most popular tracks. We left after National Anthem, but apparently Del Rey hung around for another half an hour for more chat and probable Facebook photo uploads…alright for some (not jealous at all, not at all).

Setlist: Cola, Body Electric, Blue Jeans, Born To Die, Carmen, Blue Velvet, Young and Beautiful, Burning Desire, Ride, Without You, Summertime Sadness, Video Games, National Anthem. /@LanaDelRey

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

May 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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