PNE AMPHITHEATRE, MAY 25, 2014
“Let’s take a deep breath and get ready to lose our fucking minds.”
Opener Father John Misty had clearly witnessed the scene before: the throng of 5,000 screaming fans, the Urban Outfitters jean jackets, the flower crowns. Formerly of indie folk band Fleet Foxes, his set for the evening began with Fear Fun’s “Only Son of the Ladies’ Man” – a folksy acoustic jam you’d imagine playing in an old Western bar – and later moved to the funereal “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” which begged for more than the single acoustic guitar and vocalist onstage. Regardless, Father John Misty’s voice was poignant and easily pierced through rain and cold to fill the venue.
Only two days prior to this, pseudo 1950s Hollywood starlet Lana Del Ray adorned a shiny gold gown for a performance at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s wedding rehearsal in Versailles. It’s fortunate that she did not start her performance en France like her Vancouver gig, with her first words of the night from being “Cola”‘s opening lines: “My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola”.
Vocally, the chanteuse was frequently off-pitch, drowned out by her band, and stiff, with her body movement rarely exceeding a soft sway of the hips. Taking drags of her cigarette between songs, she sang “Born to Die” (where she lewdly changed the chorus lyrics to “Let me fuck you hard in the pouring rain” to accompany delighted shouts from the audience), the melancholy “Summertime Sadness” and cinematic “National Anthem,” where she sang with a Canadian flag draped cape-like around her shoulders. Del Ray also live debuted the title track off her new album, Ultraviolence.
Despite her vocal shortcomings, Lana Del Rey was still oddly captivating and enigmatic because she successfully blurs the line distinguishing the Lolita lounge singer character she portrays from her genuine self. For the last song, she stepped down to greet front row fans as the band continued playing. Though she seemed to enjoy this, the rest of the audience was disappointed that they couldn’t pose with the indie goddess for an Instagram photo.
By Kristina Charania
Photos by Ashley Sandhu