January 31, 2018
It might’ve been 30 degrees in January, but Lana Del Rey made the Spectrum Center feel like a summer night at the beach in the 1960s. Del Rey brought her lush nostalgia to Charlotte Tuesday night, touring behind the Grammy-nominated Lust for Life.
In her breathy, sultry style, 32-year-old Del Rey performed songs from her new album, as well as hits like “Summertime Sadness” and “Video Games,” and deep cuts such as “Yayo” and “Ride.” Del Rey’s voice was strong, and though her band occasionally overpowered her, she demonstrated impressive range.
Despite the leisurely tempo of the majority of Del Rey’s songs, the show remained lively and compelling for two hours. Palm trees and chaise lounges adorned the stage and tropical beach scenes were projected onto the floor and backdrop. The projections alternated to reflect old-Hollywood images and open-road scenery, bringing to life Del Rey’s signature combination of Americana and vintage glamour.
Del Rey’s voice was confident and clear during songs from her latest album, including “13 Beaches,” “White Mustang” and “Love.” But Del Rey deferred to the audience when she performed hits from earlier in her career, singing a portion of verses and relying on the crowd to finish the rest. However, fans were more than happy to fill in the blanks on classics like “Blue Jeans” and “Born to Die.”
Before Del Rey took the stage, Colombian-American singer-songwriter Kali Uchis delighted the audience with her Latin-infused R&B. Uchis was a perfect addition to Del Rey’s tour, as Uchis’ style mirrors Del Rey’s. Both tend to favor dramatic eye makeup and voluminous hair reminiscent of the ‘60s. Uchis’ music often evokes conflicting emotions, sensual and somber at times, delicate yet candid, much like Del Rey.
Slinking across the stage in a sheer yellow crop top and pants, Uchis performed her latest singles “Tyrant” and “After the Storm,” as well as songs from her 2015 EP Por Vida.
In her surprisingly understated leather skirt, black and red racing jacket and black knee-high boots, Del Rey seemed to be having a genuinely good time. She sang a quick acapella version of “Heroin” at the request of fans and paused during the middle of the show to take selfies with crowd members, who showered her with flowers and gifts.
Del Rey’s music is built on drama and fantasy, and her stage design adhered to that aesthetic. It was touching to see Del Rey’s authenticity shine through as she collected more flowers at the end of her performance before offering a heartfelt thank you to the audience.
Check out the remaining 2018 tour dates for Lana Del Ray.