It's not every day you get asked to watch Lana Del Rey perform in a cemetery, but considering I'm always down for an impromptu ghost sighting (and IRL Lana sighting too, duh), I couldn't pass it up. She played her first of two Los Angeles shows last night at Hollywood Forever where some of THE most famous people are buried (see: Johnny Ramone's badass gravestone). I, along with hundreds of other teen bbs in flower crowns, got to watch Lana coyly perform 13 songs from Born to Die and Ultraviolence against grainy 8 mm projections and palm trees. Here's how it went down.
Just as I was elbow-deep in a box of Wheat Thins, Lana hit the stage in a red floral wrap dress paired with her signature bouffant ’do and '60s-inspired makeup. After a simple, "Hey!" she kicked off her set with "Cruel World" and immediately made her way into the crowd.
After it was over, she said, "I'm so excited we're all together tonight... It's the perfect way to end the tour." Awww, you sweet, L. :') As she sang "Cola," a dude with a seafoam (!!!) guitar from her band shredded so hard in a motorcycle jacket while she swayed back and forth onstage. Then, she lit a cigarette and managed to hold it in the same hand as her mic while singing "Body Electric." That's talent, y'all *golf claps*
Eventually, she made her way over to the guitarist and hug-danced with him from behind (told you he was cool), and then had an Inception-style screen situation happening (think a live Lana within another Lana and another #SOMANYLANAS) for "Blue Jeans," which led into a very fitting rendition of "West Coast." She tells the crowd, "You sound good," and we were all, "OMG, no you, girl!!!" (Actually, that's just what I said.)
She (finally!) gets to "Born to Die," where the crowd loses their mind every time she replaces the line "Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain" with "Let me f*** you hard in the pouring rain." (Also, please imagine this happening while she is super-imposed on an open road on the big screen behind her. Seriously.)
The highlight of the show definitely had to be when she performed "Ultraviolence" with actual footage of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery behind her (YASSS), and FYI, by now everyone in the crowd is either swaying or making out. Then, she slows it down on the piano for "Old Money" and transitions into "Summertime Sadness." When she gets to the lyrics "I got my red dress on tonight; dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight; done my hair up real big beauty queen style," I make the realization that all of that is ACTUALLY HAPPENING IRL AT THIS VERY MOMENT, and I feel so #blessed. *insert prayer hands emojis here*
Then, she does a mid-show soundcheck, which has us all straight-up enamored as she sang a little ditty a cappella, and then says, "I need a cigarette" before she starts "Million Dollar Man." By now, the crowd is thick with smoke of the marijuana variety (it's California, y'all), and as she begins "Video Games," a group of girls try to take "the best selfie ever" behind me.
As we wait for the next song to begin, I overhear a die-hard fan tell a girl that he's "waiting for the right song to cry at" and as she begins to sing "Ride," it looks like this one might be it. For her final song, she plays "National Anthem," and says that she hopes to see all of us at her next show, but if not, she'll "see you around." IDK, where I'd, like, accidentally bump into Lana in my daily life, but regardless, she takes her time mingling in the audience taking selfies and signing autographs with fans before officially disappearing into the night.
Full set list:
"Born to Die"
"Million Dollar Man"