Lana del Rey at The O2 Apollo ManchesterCultureMusicLive music
Lana del Rey’s arrival on the music scene was something of a phenomenon. Following an ill-fated first studio album in 2010, del Rey released Videogames along with a self-made YouTube video in June 2011, signed a joint contract with Interscope, Polydor and Stranger records in late 2011 and by January 2012, she was a star. What followed was her second, extraordinarily successful studio album Born To Die.
Cut to the O2 Apollo in Manchester, it’s 9pm and she’s due on stage. Her fans, mostly young girls who show their adoration by dressing like her in flowered headdresses, blue jeans and in the case of one girl, American flag trousers, are like live wire, screaming at any flicker of the stage’s light. And then it begins: the stage curtains drop to reveal a 1950s band set up, she walks onstage and the crowd loses any last form of control.
She opens with Cola: her voice is strong, clear and her range is unbelievable. Music aside, Lana del Rey is painfully beautiful, someone who would most likely make it into show business even if she had no talent, but when she moves onto Body Electric her talent is undeniable. When she gets to Blue Jeans she lets the crowd take over some of the work, and the sound of nearly 3500 people singing is stirring. Even Lana is visibly moved, telling the fans “You’re electric tonight!” No Lana, you’re electric.
Her stage presence continues to be impressive. She talks about where her songs came from and tells us the O2 Apollo has a special place in her heart as it was one of the first venues she ever played in over two years ago– and she’s right at home in its art deco style. Opting unusually for no encore, she plays in total for about 90 minutes, but she is so brilliant you could happily listen to her for another 90. She finishes with National Anthem and another trip into the crowd, and when she finally leaves the stage the crowd’s emotion is a mix of elation and misery, as no one wants to see her go. If this performance is any indication of what’s come from del Rey, then the sky is the limit and there is no doubt that the world is hers for the taking.
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Watch the video for Blue Jeans here: