Lana Del Rey: lights and shadows on her concert.

Lana Del Rey: lights and shadows on her concert.

From a few people in a recording studio to over 60 thousand at a festival, 67 thousand to be exact: always Milan, always Lana Del Rey. It was January 2012 when he arrived on the Navigli for an intimate showcase (Read here), to convince the skeptics among the experts. “Video games” had already been released, but as we said at the time there were those who thought it was a bluff, from abroad there was talk of a “strange story of the star who rewrote the past” (Guardian), of suspicions that she was a “nepo baby” as they would say today (a millionaire entrepreneur father who supported his career).

Today “Born to die” is considered the first of a series of classics that combine masterful writing and unique vintage imagery: Lana has built credibility, a solid fame and an adoring fan base. Even in Italy – we understood it last year when 17 thousand people had bought her ticket for her concert, just one week in advance, at La Prima Estate, in Versilia (Read here).

Her return to Milan, for the second date of the I-days sees her perform at the La Maura Hippodrome, with almost the same numbers as Metallica, and this gives a sense of proportion but also opens up some questions.

The audience that enters and already crowds the concert area is predominantly (but not exclusively) female and is an adoring audience, easily teary-eyed, ready to be moved by every song by the American pop star.

The beginning of the concert is the most surprising part of the evening and it is a good start. In fact, in the first songs the ethereal atmospheres of the records become, thanks to a pulsating band full of groove, more concrete, even if the voice remains dreamy and light. Voice often covered both by the more robust performances of the choristers and by the audience choir which sings passionately.

On stage Elizabeth Woolridge Grant she acts like a fake naive, with a slightly Lolitasque manner and a look that harks back to the late '50s and early '60s in both her hairstyle and clothing. With her on stage is a group of dancers who perform choreography around the singer who instead limits herself to walking around the stage and only on a few rare occasions allows herself some choreographic hints. She prefers to sit at a table or on a chair next to the three singers.

But the sound pressure put into play does not last long because everything soon fades and falls within the canons closest to Lana's recording style. They are very intimate, intense moments which, however, in a large space like that of the Milan hippodrome are a bit distracting.

Del Rey's voice is absolutely unquestionable, in solitude and in the utmost tranquility her voice arrives; with her timbre and her interpretation she touches the strings of feeling but she also leaves a certain sensation that everything is aseptic, well constructed. She lacks a little more passion. But above all the great absence of the evening seems to be the show and that crumb of carnality that makes a performance “human”.

In about an hour and a half everything is perfect but extremely static, in the sense that the ballets on stage are not enough, it is the star in such a context who does not provide “movement” and passion. There seems to be a disconnect between the choreographies, the stage and the protagonist, levels that never intertwine with each other.

In the finale, after a long part for piano and voice, the general tone of the music rises again without ever becoming overwhelming and explosive.

What Lana Del Rey presents is therefore a two-speed concert: on the one hand her voice and her interpretations which are better in moments of tranquility and calm. On the other hand, the absence of visual power which makes the stage distant. A distance which, however, is filled by the public who becomes passionate, cries, sings, sings backing vocals to the tune of “Sei beautiful”, appreciates the exploits of their heroine and loudly asks for “Salvatore” (which is not in the setlist).

Lana Del Rey puts herself on stage, and there are lights and shadows, slow and dilated times. Moments of intimacy and collective psychosis. Either you love her or you hate her, but she doesn't leave you indifferent. It's surprising that in a pop world where appearance is sometimes superior to essence, Lana Del Rey has such consensus.


Without You
West Coast
Doin' Time
Summertime Sadness
Pretty When You Cry
He laughs
Born to Die
Bartender (interlude)
Burnt Norton (Interlude)
Chemtrails Over the Country Club
The Grants
Interlude Tunnel
Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd
Norman fucking Rockwell
Video Games
hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it
Young and Beautiful