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 â€œWithout You.â€ 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 â€™20s) throughout the 10-song set. One moment Del Rey stirs up Bush, the next a sultry Stevie Nicks in â€œBorn to Dieâ€ 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. â€œIâ€™m not gonna lie,â€ she said, following other Die single â€œRadio.â€ â€œIâ€™m not really feeling that song lately. Itâ€™s not doing it for me.â€ A jazzier â€œMillion Dollar Man,â€ a perfect â€œMad Menâ€ theme song, put the Lake Placid-bred singer in a better mood. â€œThereâ€™s something about that one,â€ she said. â€œIt sounds beautiful on the record.â€ Another admitted favorite from the singer, Del Rey performed â€œSummertime Sadnessâ€ live for the first time.
Her hourglass figure perfectly framed under the lights, Del Rey threw in â€œVideo Gamesâ€ and eventually had enough for one night. â€œIâ€™m only gonna do one more,â€ she said before closer, a more upbeat â€œOff to the Races,â€ leaving the stage and the band to jam out for several minutes before closing. Itâ€™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 staresâ€”perhaps thereâ€™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 http://tinabenitez.wordpress.com/