Lana Del Rey performed yesterday at the Super Rock Festival in Portugal, her first presence ever on a portuguese stage. She presented a striped-down show with a band formed by a string section, a guitarist and a piano player, smoked three cigarettes during her hour long performance while smiling to an adoring crowd that was clearly there to see her. Her stage presence is indeed striking: ultra feminine and fragile, like a vintage Hollywood starlet with an aura of mystery, sex-appeal and vulnerability. It’s clearly a construction in which she feels comfortable in, walking around the stage holding her cigar dramatically in the air, blowing smoke while singing and flirting directly with her fans.
It’s not everyday that a concert at a festival turns into the sort of intimate affair that became yesterday’s show at Super Rock. Del Rey could have easily played the same show for a smaller audience, but the magic of having thousands of people singing every word with her would have been missed. “I think I found god in the flash bulbs of the pretty cameras” she says during Without You while descending into a corridor into the audience, hugging and kissing her fans. Not for a moment those “pretty cameras” stopped flashing in her eyes, a sort of testament to the truth of the song’s lyrics and all the comments on the insanity of celebrity culture that underline her Born To Die album.
It was indeed very interesting to witness such a young artist challenge herself to play stripped down versions of her songs (there were no hip hop beats or reverbed guitars buzzing around as on the original versions) , relying precisely on the quality of her music and her own charisma as a stage performer. Judging by the amazing crowd response yesterday at Super Rock, it’s a challenge that pays off. Check our videos for Without You and National Anthem below: