Lana Del Rey @ Echo Arena, Liverpool 22/08/17

A sold-out arena on the banks of the Mersey was the venue for Lana Del Rey’s first of two consecutive UK shows, the second night taking her to Glasgow. The New York singer returned to the British Isles just a few weeks after playing a stand-alone show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton before disappearing for a few festival appearances.

Lana Del Rey certainly let the anticipation build before her set, leaving the show with no support act and taking to the stage late. There were deafening screams when she eventually did to an extended intro instrumental. “That’s fine” she says, holding her hand up to her band so she can speak to the audience.

2012 track ‘Body Electric’ from album number two ‘Paradise’ was the opener. Lana took centre stage against an understated backing track and two black-clad dancers skulking about. The typical retro effect video reel of 50s and 60s Hollywood stars flickered on the big screens behind her.

Throughout her set, Lana’s constant interactions with the crowd made the experience feel strangely personal. “Shall we sing Born To Die?” she asks before launching into the fourth song of the night.

She even took a break for a couple of minutes to meet and take selfies with fans on the front row of the standing area. The big screens showed her waving and smiling with her adoring fans.

Hits such as ‘Blue Jeans’, ‘Video Games’ and ‘Summertime Sadness’ weren’t far behind. The setlist was varied, with plenty of older tracks to choose from as well as a couple of new ones from recent album ‘Lust For Life’.

Towards the end of the short set, Lana treated the Liverpool crowd to something a little bit different. After being handed a white guitar, she played a big throwback song in 2010’s Yayo.

This rare feature was shortly followed an acapella rendition of new single ‘Love’. The decision to sing it acapella was apparently taken as the band hadn’t had the chance to rehearse, but it was all the better for it. Lana’s voice was effortless and flawless as she took the chance to remind everyone of her raw talent.

The big finale came with 2012’s ‘Off To The Races’. A lengthy instrumental played Lana out as she said her final goodbyes and left the stage without an encore.

The set was short – especially for a big arena show. And with the lack of support act, a late start and no encore, you can’t help but feel there may have been some ill feelings if Lana Del Rey wasn’t as nice a person. Her humility, gratitude and attitude towards her fans may have helped her redeem herself.

Despite this, Lana delivered a well-balanced set that was inclusive of the ‘since day one’ fans and fans of her recent number one album. Her skills as a performer have been questioned in the past but the guitar solo and acapella song were a nice touch. Behind all the vintage style and ‘Americana’ influences her talent is simply undeniable.

  • Body Electric
  • Cherry
  • Shades Of Cool
  • Blue Jeans
  • Born To Die
  • White Mustang
  • Music To Watch Boys To
  • Ultraviolence
  • Cruel World
  • Change
  • Ride
  • Summertime Sadness
  • Video Games
  • Yayo
  • Love (acapella)
  • Off To The Races
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