Lana Del Rey, Latitude review: American superstar brought old school glamour
- Credit: Archant
Lana Del Rey's schtick, in her eight-year long career, has always been yesteryear Americana. "I wasn't even born in the '50s" the 34-year-old singer songwriter clarified in an interview, "but I feel like I was there."
It's paid off. The New Yorkers' breakout single, Video Games, uploaded to 2011's YouTube, went viral and earned her a prestigious Ivor Novello award. Since then, she's had three UK number one albums and - with a remixed and newly pulsating version of single Summertime Sadness - an unexpected club hit.
It didn't make sense, then, to test the formula at her headline slot at Latitude on Sunday afternoon. Arriving 20 minutes late to a stage flanked by palm trees and a deck chair, the BRIT award winner managed to make a Suffolk field look like a nostalgic California road trip. If that didn't do the trick, then the three screens projecting grainy footage of beach side frolicking certainly made a strong case.
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True to form, Del Rey took us straight back to the past with set opener, Born To Die, the titular track from her 2012 debut album. As she implored festival goers to sing along - and was met with a thunderous response - she failed to suppress smiles. It was a crack in the once aloof and disengaged star's persona that didn't stop widening throughout the performance. In fact, it was odd when she sang the chorus's main lyric 'Cause you and I, we were born to die.' The morbidity no longer ran true with the beaming artist dressed in a white summer dress, and wearing hair ribbons, on the night.
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The front row was equally animated. Though no encouragement was required, their idol left the stage during Blue Jeans to braying fans brandishing vinyl and dutifully signed them. However, the chats and selfie taking Del Rey engaged with might have been a step too far - as the interlude didn't fare so well with the back of the crowd. One woman yawned so theatrically it demanded her own headline slot.
Back on stage - but this time on a giant swing - Lana Del Rey gave a demurred performance of Video Games. It was much like her vocals throughout the set: caressing, cajoling but occasionally unassuming. Despite their delicacy, and the size of the Obelsik stage, Del Rey nearly pulled it off. It was only during a medley, which included the formerly anthemic Young and Beautiful, that her voice became as indistinct as the four songs did.
Not that it mattered. It's a testament to Del Rey that even when lying, motionless, on the stage for You're Pretty When You Cry she managed to enthral and still ooze glamour. Nor did it matter that Del Rey didn't end on one of her crowd pleasers, which appeared sporadically in the set, and performed the vintage LA inspired Venice Bitch instead. As confetti erupted in the final minute and the star turned on her heels, it was a fitting nod to what she does best.