“It’s like being at a Fatboy Slim concert,” comments one spectator.
“Or David Guetta!” replies another.
The support act, Max Jury, hasn’t even graced the stage yet and already Lana Del Rey is inciting chaos among the crowd. People are vomiting, drinks are being thrown and you wouldn’t see as much jostling in Coppers. Loud choruses of ‘Lana!’ await the closing act of Live At The Marquee.
The boisterous crowd they share, however, is where these artists’ similarities end.
Del Rey arrives on stage under the cover of darkness, suitably setting up the mood for an atmospheric, intense set. She is surprisingly human in real life (a very attractive human, mind), oozing oodles of charm and sass.
Opening with Cola, it’s notorious lyrics – “my pussy tastes like Pepsi cola” – are lapped up by the all too eager fans. The frenzy has not ceased – if anything, it’s worsened. Fighting against the shrieks though, Del Rey’s falsetto is pretty impressive.
“I can’t believe we’re back in Ireland. I’m so happy,” she says. And it shows. Del Rey looks equally as delighted as her public does. She smiles, blows kisses and plays the part of the siren that is known and loved globally.
Kicking it up a notch, Body Electric features some nonchalant grinding from Del Rey on her guitarist. Without even trying to be sexy, she is. She abandons singing the actual lyrics in part in order to simple ‘ooh’ along. No matter: she’s still queen to the crowd.
There were questions as to whether Del Rey would be able to deliver vocally to a crowd reaching 4,000 people. She does – for the most part. She seems to reserve her energy when singing the verses of her songs, before unleashing powerful choruses. This works on the anthemic power ballad Born To Die and ‘Ultraviolence’ album track Money Power Glory. However, Blue Jeans proves to be a bit stuttery and patchy at times.
For an artist who’s music can best be described as mellow, she has succeeded in igniting a furious energy in the Marquee.
“You’re sounding good,” she growls over West Coast, the crowd completely entranced by her sheer presence.
Her band are a credit to her, matching the intensity of her vocals with sombre guitars and percussion. It is then that it becomes clear that in fact Del Rey feeds off the audience just as much as they do her. She shimmies as she turns the mic on them and they respond. She has a smile on for the entire set.
Her joy is evident, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the woman when she appears to be falling for you too.
Becoming emotional, she quickly gathers herself, before showcasing her true ability as a singer on tracks like Ultraviolence and Young And Beautiful. Sometimes, the bass overpowers her. Soft and serene when paired with a piano, however, Del Rey is a force to be reckoned with, notably during Million Dollar Man.
Then, the real magic happens. Del Rey makes her way to the photographer’s pit to greet the entire front row. In a baffling display, she signs vinyls, takes selfies and returns kisses to the masses for at least ten minutes. Del Rey has more concern for the audience than anything else. It is fantastic to see such a genuine show of affection for her fans, especially in such large, sold-out venue.
Summertime Sadness, despite being ravaged by DJ Cedric Gervais, is warmly received. At times, however, Del Rey struggles to keep time and lacks composure as her emotions get the better of her. For songs like Ride and Carmen, she is more interested in hearing the crowd sing than singing herself.
Video Games, adjusted for a live setting, features rolling drums and a slightly livelier tempo. It suits the pace of the show, and sets up the final song of the night, National Anthem. The audience go wild, becoming Del Rey’s army, raising their hands in unison. The crowd is in the palm of her hand as she warbles gloriously for their adoration.
Whether Del Rey was vocal consistent throughout the performance seems irrelevant upon reflection. She was able to achieve something artists with twice her experience still struggle with. Del Rey forged a deeply personal and meaningful connection with the audience, and maintained it until the very end. It is unsurprising that she appeared to find it overwhelming occasionally. She could have stood there for two hours and she still would have been met with wild fanfare.
Lana Del Rey can leave Leeside safe in the knowledge that she delivered a well rounded, memorable performance. She did not set out to be the critics’ darling, or win any body over. For her, it was all about the fans.