rikke_leonhart: Owl (Lana Del Rey - b/w)
[personal profile] rikke_leonhart
Hello hello, you lovely lot!

So, internet has been dodgy for quite some time, life is crazy busy as per usual, and it all adds up to me not really being up for anything and not being able to check internet other than on my phone. I will make a proper update soon, but allow me some flailing for the Lana Del Rey concert.

Yes! I went to see Lana Del Rey live on Friday night and slkfjslhflskjflsklfsdhgsasdasd. Approximately. That. It was an exercise in flawlessness, it was so overwhelming. Her voice is crazy. Like, anything you hear on records is stunning, but that she's actually able to reproduce those sounds live is truly mindboggling. I already knew I was going to cry like a baby when she sang Body Electric, but I don't think anyone in the audience was prepared for Video Games and National Anthem in succession, it felt like the roof was coming down. I know she has a bit of a dodgy reputation for her lives, but her voice is fucking stunning, let no one convince you of the opposite. The concert was also completely sold out, so happy for her <3

The warm up band was a Scottish indie rock folk band named Kassidy and they were all kinds of hilarious and amazing, so I'll definitely be stalking their music in the future. Lana had two lion statues on stage, and Kassidy named them Mufasa and Aslan, just because they could. I was pretty amused, it seemed like they're not really used to have any kind of pause in between their songs, so they were extremely awkward in a really sort of awesome way. There was also a random tech guy sneaking in several times during the set to fix something on stage, we had a right laugh at him. They also randomly did a few chords of the chorus of Blue Jeans, and when they got to "Love you more than those bitches before" they just completely gave up on hitting the notes properly xD

(Randomly, it was a very mixed audience, teenagers, married couples, older people, giddy young people, it made me happy that she burns through generations like that.)

Then the stage lit up in, quite frankly, totally creepy ways, a really sort of eerie atmosphere, but the lights were very pretty anyway. Then an extended intro to Cola started, and finally Lana stepped on stage, so damn lovely in her pretty white dress and dark hair, and yes, that was Cola. She actually did that scream she does at the end of the bridge in the recording, it was so good! The entire passage with "Harvey's in the sky with diamonds" was gorgeous. Then, I swear, I got the extreme shivers as soon as the first notes of Body Electric started, I can't even. It was almost a spiritual experience when she sang "Mary prays the rosary for my broken mind" and launched into "I sing the body electric" where she raised her arms and oh. my. god. So many shivers. Totally surreal. It's my favorite song from the Paradise Edition and she delivered perfectly.

After Body Electric it was Gods & Monsters, which was fine by me since I could definitely spend some minutes trying not to bawl. I've never really felt anything particular for this song, so it was just a filler for me. She looked and sounded lovely, though. Ugh, on the screes, her face is so damn stunning, I can't even. After that, Blue Jeans started, the version from the video with the pretty strings intro, and people seriously went a little nuts. Everyone sang along to "You fit me better than my favorite sweater" and she did a lot of cute little giggles when we sang along. Oh, we love you too, Lana <3 Right from Blue Jeans, the intro to Born to Die started, and if people were crazy during Blue Jeans, then they went completely insane during Born to Die. the backdrop was so gorgeous, the video to Born to Die was playing on it, the open road and all the eerie shots, it was so completely devastating, with her vulnerable vocals and heartbreaking, melancholy lyrics. "Don't make me sad, don't make me cry, sometimes love is not enough, and the road gets tough, I don't know why," and there's a cadence in her voice that I just am so completely in love with, and especially during this song, it's just a hundred times better than any recording of it. At the very end, she didn't sing it, but she let us sing "You and I, we were born to die" and it was beautiful.

There was a long moment where the stage was dark, and then Carmen started. The lights during this song were perfect. It needs to be said, really, the light technicians have done one hell of a good job on the stage, but I think this was by far my favorite, it was so in sync with the underlying beat. Lana's voice was that mix of sultry and innocent that I have no idea how she's pulling off, but it fits so well with Carmen and how disturbing it actually is, how profoundly sad it is. Then xD Randomly, a stage hand came running in with a contrabass xD Lana slowed it all down and went up to the grand piano where the pianist first played something that sounded like the intro to I Will Survive, but it was actually a seriously gorgeous jazzy version of Million Dollar Man, and her voice, oh my god. He phrasings were flawless, she rose and fell in pitch as if it's the most natural thing in the world for her. Her dark-tinged whisper of "you're screwed up and brilliant, look like a million dollar man, so why is my heart broke?" just punctuated the line she posed earlier with "It isn't that hard, boy, to like you or love you" and uuuuuugh. FEELS.

If there's just one song in the world with no flaws, it's Blue Velvet. I adore the original, but Lana's is so good it's ridiculous. She has that dark timbre and noir feel that just fits amazingly well with Lynch's movie, so. It was very good. Then it was time for American! I love this song to bits and pieces, the piano at the very beginning just slays me. She was hitting all the high notes without any kind of trouble, she was especially lovely during "spin me round like a child" which was amazing.

The next song was Without You, which made my friend incredibly happy since it's her favorite, and I totally get her, there's just something about the lyrics that I can't put my finger on, it's not incredible litterature or anything, but the combination of her porcelain voice and fragile looks, and her crooning "I've nothing without you" and "but burned into my brain / are these stolen images / stolen images, baby, stolen images / can you picture it, babe, the life we could've lived?". Her voice, I mean, the entire Paradise Editon is so focused on her amazingly full, deeper timbre, but Without You keeps her voice in the higher register, and the second chorus, she sang entirely in her head voice. Color me very impressed. Then she did a Bob Dylan cover, out of the blue! She did Knockin' On Heaven's Door, which was an odd choice, but then again, she does Heart-Shaped Box (flawless Nirvana cover) every once in a while, too, so I guess she just wants her eclectic choices xD

She left the stage after that, and we knew there wouldn't be many songs left, so of course everyone started screaming for her to come back, and the string section just started up at the same time the screens lit up with the long intro to Ride. Holy. Fuck. The entire thing was in, her entire heartbreaking monologue about freedom and choices, both the good and the bad ones, and the whole thing is seriously one of the most stunning music videos I've ever seen, it's visually superior to just about everything. There's a shot of her swinging across the screen on a tire, and it's gorgeous, so beautiful, I lack adjectives to describe it.  Her humming at the beginning of the song made me tear up. Everything about it is touching, the lyrics, the gradual buil up to the bridge where her voice goes shrill, but it's so right. The monologue, her saying so honestly "I belonged to no one, and belonged to everyone, I had nothing but wanted everything." The shots of her with the Stars and Stripes flag makes me choke up for some reason, it's just so powerful, she's like an image of the American Dream. The soaring chorus and I'm with her wherever she goes on her quest for freedom to choose.

Summertime Sadness came next, it's a fan favorite with good reason, everyone was singing along to the chorus, it's one of the catchiest songs from Born To Die. Every time I hear that song, I'm reminded of last summer because I looped that album all summer, but especially that song just got stuck so often, and her pleading voice with "Nothing scares me anymore / kiss me hard before you go" and then "I think I'll miss you forever", because it's not a typical love song, it's about parting, about knowing it's not ever going to be how it's been before, it's about the vulnerability of admitting to loss. So powerful. And then the melody picks up with "I got that summertime, summertime sadness, s-s-summertime sadness" and she has everyone singing with her.

After that, she sang Burning Desire which has such an otherworldly feel to it, there's no other way for me to describe it. I much prefer the live version, the album version didn't impress me much, but this just had me dropping my jaw, the drummer was amazingly powerful with the steady percussion, and Lana's ethereal vocals just perfected it.

Then bells rang faintly. And everyone flipped the fuck out, it felt like the roof would cave in. I kid you not, the energy from earlier songs was nothing compared to this, because everyone knew those bells, knew what was happening, and then the rest of the intro was played. Video Games had arrived. This is pop music at its very best - I say pop because it's what it is, but it's also so much more, and this song is what catapulted her into people's awareness. The video is very eerie - it seems very polished, but there's something wrong with the actress in the video, you can see her swaying, being held upright by someone. There's the home video quality, as if the clips are intensely intimate, as if you're not really allowed looking at it - it's how I feel when listening to it. It's a love song, but it isn't. It's everything else, the intense love declarations, there are allusions to drugs and drinking and just wanting to be with someone, no matter what they're doing to you or with you or with someone else for that matter, it's just so powerful in that simple melody. There's also a sense of being so damn young and just living, taking whatever happens because you're with someone you love. There's no crescendo, not really, but listen to what she's singing, it will knock you sideways.

The final song was National Anthem. Again, with the Stars And Stripes on the backdrop, but it's so fitting. Again with the image of living the American Dream, she's the embodiment of it. People went nuts, again. It seems like everyone just took it up another notch every time, there was no real moment of calming down in between the songs, but holy shit, National Anthem. The video played on the screen in the background and it's inspired by John F. Kennedy and everything from that time, she's depicted as Jackie and she does it well. It's a sing-along track, the whispers in between the verses "Money is the reason we exist / everybody knows it / it's a fact, kiss kiss" was sung solely by us, Lana was smiling like she couldn't believe it was her life. The chorus of this song is incredible, and the lyrics of it all are so vivid, when she sings "hand on the back of my neck", I can see how the man is holding her neck tenderly, curling his fingers just so. She does something with words that does things to me in return, and this song is a perfect example of how her touching, devastating songs aren't always slow ballads. It's also, once again, touching onto the ever-present themes of darkness, drugs, dying young as consequence, of damning it all because of belief in whatever you think is right. When she sang "Tell me I'm your national anthem", everyone sang back at her the lines in between, and she was laughing when we sang "Sugar, sugar, how now, take your body down town", god, she's adorable.

After the last "Money is the anthem, god, you're so handsome, money is the anthem of success," she bowed low, like really low, all humbled, and she left the stage to the sounds of the band going all out on the end of the song. At the very end, her reading the piece from the video about Jackie Kennedy and her relationship with John F. Kennedy was the perfect ending.

I've been trying to put into words just how amazing she is, how beautiful she is in real life, how out of this world the concert was, but I'm not sure it entire comes across. Music just stomps all over my heart, love music is the best thing in the entire world. I'm so grateful for this experience that it clogs my throat with how amazing it was. I hope she'll be back soon.

Edit: Proof of Ride's gorgeousness:





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rikke_leonhart

August 2013

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