Seeing Lana Del Rey at the Jazz Café was something extremely special. For starters the capacity is only 350 people making this setting rather intimate. This gig was put on by HMV. The only way to get entry was to win tickets and to do this you had to pre order the album back in January. Doing this you would of got put into the draw to be one of the lucky 150 people to win a pair of tickets. Fortunately I had a friend who used his PureHMV points to secure 1 of the 2 pairs of tickets on offer and I am so grateful that I was invited. Even though I knew I was attending I still pre ordered the album as I had a couple of friends who wanted to go and pre ordering gave them another shot of getting tickets (they both pre ordered as well). This one off event had already changed dates 2 times and the final date 10th April was the 3rd and last change. Finally the day came and as I had never witnessed Lana live it is really difficult to decide on a time to queue. I was outside the venue at 9.50am in the morning and looking back on it I did kind of misjudge but the fact friends of mine arrived in the forthcoming hours did make queuing early a lot bearable. The strange thing was my friends and I were the first there till about 6pm. There were a number of people at the venue but not with tickets, they only wanted to meet Lana and get a picture. Miss Del Rey arrived at the Jazz Cafe around 5pm and there was a massive scrum round the car the driver pulled up in. There were also autograph hunters as well. As much as I wanted to go over I just hung back because I thought I would be able to catch her going in. Unfortunately when Lana moved the scrum was heading with her to the front door. What I found incredibly sweet is Lana met everyone which is something that rarely happens with other recording artists.
Once 7pm came people were let into the venue. It was a tad unfortunate my friend and I were held up because we weren’t on the guest list (even though he had purchased tickets through PureHMV). But that hold up didn’t matter as the people we were with in the afternoon saved space at the front meaning we could easily slot in. It was then a 2 hour wait until the performance everyone was eager to witness. The set may have been kept to just 8 songs but seeing Lana Del Rey in such an intimate setting is something truly memorable. The rest of the band took to the stage 5 minutes before Lana. Around 9pm Del Rey came down the stairs sporting a Guns “N” Roses vest top over a black bra, skinny jeans and glittery flat shoes. “Hi, happy to see you, you’re a small room” Lana said to the audience before Blue Jeans. The decision to have a string section was pure genius. This song had only been released the day before. I must admit the vocals were powerful and chilling at the same time. This song went down a treat. “Let’s do Born To Die” Del Rey mentioned to the rest of her band before playing the albums self titled track. Born To Die was a song that she nailed and vocally rather impressive. Straight after it was then onto Without You which appeared as an extra track on the deluxe edition of Born To Die. This song was smooth and I was reminded me of Kate Bush. Maybe it was the fact every note was delivered to perfection. “I’m going to do one more song with the strings and send them on their way” Del Rey said to the intimate audience straight after she had sung Without You. This song was Video Games which was both very sleek and sultry. This number was strong and had a steady pace. “We’re going to do Carmen. We’ve never done it live before” Del Rey then said. Loads of cameras then came out. Carmen which is the forthcoming 4th single may be slow in pace but it grows on you. There was no doubt that this song was a real audience pleaser. “I know it’s slow but it’s one of my favourites. Can we do Radio instead?” Lana told the audience before deciding to play Radio before Summertime Sadness. I must admit this song has to be one of my favourite album tracks. Even though the song was rather smooth it does have up tempo infectious parts. I really enjoyed its lyrics. Summertime Sadness was played straight after. This slow tempo song was delivered faultlessly. “Well we have one more. You knew it was a short set” Del Rey said to the audience which resulted in a few groans. Million Dollar Man was one spell binding song and Lana was pitch perfect. She literally gave this number her all and it sounded outstanding. “I love you” Del Rey then said during the rapture of applause. Million Dollar Man capped off what had been an extraordinary night and one I will never forget.
Born To Die
Million Dollar Man
OVERALL: This short and sweet set left me completely speechless. Lana Del Rey is someone very special indeed. There is no one quite like her. First of all she is extremely sweet and the fact she spent an hour with every fan when she arrived was something truly remarkable. Everyone got something signed and a photo. The fact I have met and talked to Lana still seems rather surreal. All in all I reckon that did wonders for her confidence.
As for the performance Del Rey was both phenomenal and spellbinding. I was left captivated till beginning to end. The use of a string section was incredible and special. This was the first time I had seen Lana perform so I don’t know if the string section was just for that evening. She did appear nervous to begin with but warmed up as the night progressed. Lana gave it her all and the vocals were breathtaking. The opening of Blue Jeans reminded me of Florence and the Machine’s – You’ve Got The Love when it was performed at the Royal Albert Hall with an orchestra.
The evening was a complete success. I left the Jazz Café on a high after witnessing something rather special. I did hang round a bit to see if Lana came outside. She did but not to stop. Just seeing that was slightly unpleasant as the paparazzi who were there were like a pack of Wolves as they wanted a picture. Glass was smashed and honestly someone could of got injured. After seeing Del Rey leave the venue I then made my way home.