On the beautiful night of Sept. 21, I had the privilege of attending my third Lana Del Rey concert. I had previously seen her during the Endless Summer Tour in 2015 and the L.A. to the Moon Tour in 2018, so I was familiar with her performance style going into this show. Not only was this the first time I was seeing her perform songs from her phenomenal new album, “Norman F****** Rockwell!,” but it was also the opening night of the tour so there was an inexplicable excitement in the air. The location for this concert was Jones Beach Island, the perfect setting to match the nautical and summertime vibes of the album “NFR!” Considering the album cover is Del Rey on a boat in the ocean reaching towards the camera, the fact that the ocean was surrounding the stage set a magical mood. A fantastic coincidence that was so aesthetically pleasing was the boats in the water next to the stage, incredibly similar to the one that graced the cover of the album.
After watching the sunset on the water, us fans were waiting anxiously for Lana to waltz onto the stage so we could experience her excellence. It felt like an eternity before she came on, fans screaming when they saw any movement backstage and when the band members were setting up for a night of music that is so important to all of her supporters. Eventually, the elegant and stunning icon appeared with her two dancers, who also happen to be some of her closest friends. Del Rey, with her signature long wavy hair, was wearing a flowy white dress along with her trademark winged-eyeliner. The contrast between her conservative, white, long-sleeved, ankle-length dress to her dancers’ crop tops, shorts and knee high boots was striking. Lana is known for having two moods, comparable to an angel (incredibly sweet, refined and innocent) and devil (incredibly explicit and wearing clothing considered revealing). I love going into one of her concerts and not knowing which version I will get, either making me equally ecstatic.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
The opening song was the titular track “Norman F****** Rockwell,” causing the crowd to go wild when Del Rey’s first line of the night was, “God damn man child, you f***** me so good that I almost said ‘I love you.’” In true Lana fashion, her setlist was a masterful compilation of songs from every album with a lovely mixture of more popular songs and lesser known songs that die-hard fans freak out about when they hear them. The predictable songs that she usually performs were “Born to Die,” “Summertime Sadness,” “Ride,” “Video Games” and “Young and Beautiful” to name a few. Although these songs hold a special place in my heart, I was more excited to hear songs I have never heard live such as “Bartender,” “Black Beauty,” “Change,” “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch.”
The lengthy setlist would have been enough to satisfy my Lana fix, but she exceeded every expectation when she brought out two guests. The first guest was Adam Cohen, a singer who happens to be the son of the legendary Leonard Cohen. As a duo, Del Rey and Cohen sang one of Leonard’s songs, “Chelsea Hotel #2.” Coincidentally, the day of the concert was the late Leonard Cohen’s birthday, so watching his son and Lana honor him with a cover was incredibly special and brought me to tears. If that was not enough, Del Rey brought Sean Ono Lennon on stage to sing their duet “Tomorrow Never Came” from her last album, “Lust for Life.” As the child of the musical icon John Lennon, I felt transported to the past watching both guests, who resemble their fathers in both voice and appearance, perform with my favorite singer. That night was historic for me and as cheesy as it is to say, I completely got lost in the music. Although I spent an absurd amount of money on merchandise and drove through terrible New York traffic to see her, I would do it again in a heartbeat because I am always chasing that feeling that I could only experience at a Lana Del Rey concert.
Victoria is a sophomore Political Science and Italian Double major with a minor in Law, Justice and Society.