Being at a Lana Del Rey concert for the first time is like being indoctrinated into a Lana Del Rey cult, such is the passionate following of her fans. Homemade signs, handwritten letters, flowers and gifts were laid at the altar of Lana throughout the one and a half hour concert at Malahide Castle on Saturday night.
In return for this adoration, Lana brought some of the California weather to match her California vibes on stage. She also paid homage to one Maria Bailey by having a swing present on stage, which we can only assume was hand delivered by The Dean Hotel.
Lana and her back-up singers and dancers arrived on stage, draped in white, singing Born to Die, to ferocious screams from the 20,000-strong crowd. She followed up with some of her newer songs like Venice Bitch, Cherry and New Money but it’s in her cover of Sublime’s Doin’ Time where she really glimmered, adding her sensual, melancholic style to the summertime classic.
The Maria Bailey swing was the centre piece for arguably Lana’s most famous song, Video Games, as she sang “It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you. Everything I do. I tell you all the time. Heaven is a place on earth with you”, with half the crowd convinced Lana was singing directly to them.
There’s an air of fragility and tortured soul from Lana’s performance that was balanced with a kindness and deep affection for her fans. She left the stage several times to chat with the front row, where she was showered in gifts and selfies, at one stage even doing a short Q&A with one of them.
Lana saved some of the best moments for last, with Summertime Sadness getting the biggest reaction from the crowd, finally a place to vent our frustration at the season that still evades us. Surely, there is a case for Summertime Sadness to be the new Irish national anthem?
She finished the evening as she began it, down in the front row with the other main act of the night – her fans. I think we’re all now part of the Lana cult and I think we’re okay with that.
Review: Karen Twomey