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Beat Magazine Joined: 9th December 2010
Last seen: 5th June 2012
Palace Theatre
20-30 Bourke St
Melbourne CBD

Lana Del Rey @ The Palace

For die-hard Lana Del Rey fans, her first Australian tour has been a long time coming. While she has just one successful record under her vintage belt, this is Del Rey’s second attempt at coming to our shores and this tour includes solo shows in just Sydney and Melbourne. So it was hardly surprising that the venue was packed before the support act even hit the stage. Even a toilet break was out of the question for fear of losing a good view. The stage was lavished with foliage and an eerie light set the scene for what could be one of the year’s most deliciously dark, haunting performances. No pressure.

 

Right on time, she stepped gingerly onto the stage, low lighting glinting off her bejeweled wrists and shoes, her tiny frame complemented perfectly by a '60s mini and matching bouffant hair. Let’s be honest, her beauty has had a huge impact on her popularity and will continue to do so – it’s how she maintains the rest of her image that will keep her fans believing. Sadly, this is what let her down at The Palace.

 

The roar from her avid fans permeated the theatre as the first bars of Blue Jeans kicked the concert into motion. Del Rey’s voice did not disappoint, dripping with every ounce of sadness and tragedy her recordings are so well known for. A pedestal just inches away from the front row closed the barrier between superstar beauty and regular gal, a few people even got to touch her hands.

 

Her few big hits such as Video Games and Born To Die – and it really is too early for her to have more than just a few – were definitely the highlights of a set that ran for under an hour. With no encore. The album tracks chosen for the set list were a little damp and anyone familiar with her body of work to date would surely agree there wasn’t a real flow to the show. To make matters worse, the giggly little school girl we were met with between each song was so disconnected from the dark, often confronting air of Del Rey’s music that it kinda ruined the vibe. Not that the crowd seemed to care – they would’ve followed her to the toilet and applauded her performance there too.

 

What makes artists like Lady Gaga or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O so enthralling is that they embody what they create, they make you want to believe in them, and that theatrical element is hard for anyone to resist. What Del Rey needs is a bit more time to develop who she is as an artist, but the clock is ticking. The huge hype that surrounds her is as much a curse as it is a blessing. She is a classic beauty – but is that enough to stand the test of time?

 

BY JEN WILSON

 

LOVED: The vintage styling.

HATED: Too much hype.

DRANK: Alcohol – it’s a depressant, right?