Lana Del Rey 12/5 NYC Bowery Ballroom Review

Lana Del Rey Keeps it Short and Sweet in New York

by Tina Benitez

Just 15 minutes behind her 9pm set time, a vampy Lana Del Rey glided onto stage at the sold out Bowery Ballroom Monday night. Dressed all in white down to her low-top Converse, Del Rey opened the night with single “Without You.” Almost as whimsical as a Kate Bush video, oversized balloons hung from the ceiling floating different images of Americana, Lana, random photos and stills, classic films and cartoons (including some old-school Mickey Mouse from the late ’20s) throughout the 10-song set. One moment Del Rey stirs up Bush, the next a sultry Stevie Nicks in “Born to Die” the title song from her upcoming debut out January 31.

One part Lana Turner, the other tough like a Ford Del Rey (yes, the car), the 25-year-old swept through her short archive leaving some ingenuous words in between songs. “I’m not gonna lie,” she said, following other Die single “Radio.” “I’m not really feeling that song lately. It’s not doing it for me.” A jazzier “Million Dollar Man,” a perfect “Mad Men” theme song, put the Lake Placid-bred singer in a better mood. “There’s something about that one,” she said. “It sounds beautiful on the record.” Another admitted favorite from the singer, Del Rey performed “Summertime Sadness” live for the first time.

Her hourglass figure perfectly framed under the lights, Del Rey threw in “Video Games” and eventually had enough for one night. “I’m only gonna do one more,” she said before closer, a more upbeat “Off to the Races,” leaving the stage and the band to jam out for several minutes before closing. It’s hard to tell if Del Rey is a spoiled brat, part burlesque vixen-turned singer or just out there, somewhere else. Demonstrated in some of her blank stares—perhaps there’s a bit of it all in her Del Rey persona, but the singer barely unraveled some of these layers live. If only the show were a bit longer, perhaps we could figure her out. Lana Del Rey keeps us guessing.

Photos by Tina Benitez. Check out more of Tina’s work at

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