Lana Del Rey @ Liverpool Echo Arena


Emoji summary: 🔱🔮🖤

in 2013 i saw Lana Del Rey at the Hammersmith Apollo back when ‘love you more than those bitches before’ was my favourite line. bless me. I still thought girls had to compete against one another and I thought LDR was teaching me how to do that, be pretty n evil; a good Sad Girl for the boys. She was this internet old Hollywood ghost queen whose lyrics could have easily been made up of post-breakup essay texts; or maybe stories you’d tell your future daughter if u were young and close enough to be honest with her. Listening to the full Born To Die album felt like reading a book/ I found a boy to be in an unhealthy relationship with, but it wasn’t as glamorous as the album had made it sound/ i didn’t understand my sense of culture was so young. In the Apollo, she wore a short white long-sleeved dress, she sounded like the album and i was there to pay my respects.

I think most of us have since graduated from tumblr account PhotoBooth misery and I'm glad (tbh I was always too happy for that aesthetic anyway. plus I never smoked, was never good at drinking, and I am not skinny). i checked the moving-on when I went to see Lana this week in the Echo Arena here in Liverpool, 3 albums later, liking who I am/we are now. The show was a better setting for the music, as opposed to a space to cradle the musician’s image. * Have you ever put sugar scrub on your lips? that moment before you roll n crash it horizontal across your skin - that’s what had been done to the ~image~ of Lana Del Rey i'd been holding in my head. She’d gritted the floor, dimmed the lights and let us into a polished band practice. The room felt small. tbh, it was wild. She wore jeans, her hair was dark, the guitars were too loud, and i bought a smirnoff ice and two packets of crisps from the bar to take to my seat (in seats rather than standing because I hate standing up it’s the worst) (i would have got coke but they only sold pepsi don't @ me). I think because it was a last minute tour date (tickets were only released last month and it sold out in seconds) the audience was made up of non-casual fans which might have allowed LDR & the band to lean into themselves and flex some genuinely good and challenging music in front of their close audience. they didn’t hav 2 drip-feed the crowdpleasers u stick with at festivals, you kno? she did give us Blue Jeans, Video Games and Summertime Sadness but at one point everyone else left the stage, she asked for her guitar which was spikey n white, and she sang a messy and felt Yayo until she didn’t want to sing it anymore and ended the song short by literally saying ‘fuck it.’ Straight after that she stood at the front of the stage and sang the first half of Love a cappella with the crowd. it was actually lovely. everythin felt like a pull away from brand to band, and thank god.

The musicians were stretching n pushing off of tracks so well that I preferred some of the live performances to their album counterparts, which is a mad compliment to me but I guess some music should only really exist in its live n wobbly state ;; where it can be grungey n hard to hear at points, full-on, leaning forward, about to fall. It did something to the lyrics as well. A lot of Lana Del Rey songs have such a narrative whimsy that I expect some irony in her performance,, but this was a flat and a sincere presentation. I used to hear the lyrics when she sang but last night I heard her voice and the music, n i like that shift. and it’s not that the songwriting is any worse - it’s better, the words r closer to the sound now ~ bound n wrapped, as tho the Lust for Life album has put aside the kind of Salvatore or Ride or even This Is What Makes Us Girls tales for the instruments themselves, words finally on par with the music, become poetry. Didn’t feel like a pop-packaged show, it was far far away from the Apollo in 2013. it was meandering and open-ended. She finished with Off To The Races (which was the first Lana Del Rey Song I ever heard because iTunes were giving the mp3 away in their Christmas countdown years ago) and she left the stage after the words didn’t require her to be there anymore, let the band have fucking at it. they ripped the end of the song up until they were ready to let go, and then I saw drumsticks thrown into the crowd and the lights went up, no encore. ahhhhhh. I left with my sister and my cousin, and we got some KFC from across the road and took it to our nans where we connected our phones to the TV to share with her the videos we’d taken.

it was a perfect night, one for the fans. i should see live music more often. i liked how rough the music was handled. but also how lana just took her time n was in no rush with any of it ~ ~ ~. i have no idea why Sean Ono Lennon didn’t make an appearance tho, with it being liverpool??, but whatever. it made me so happy n excited in my body, and i was made up she was wearing jeans.

an image of Lana playing guitar on stage under her name in neon