Lana Del Rey – BST Hyde Park
The iconic Lana Del Rey closes BST Hyde Park with a magical and enthralling live show.
Lana Del Rey is a name that needs no introduction. The singer-songwriter has built-up a legion of fans across the world and has widely become known as one of the most important contemporary artists currently around. Since the release of her global breakthrough album Born To Die in 2012, Del Rey has consistently released projects that are narratively rich, dark, and poetic. Last Sunday, Lana Del Rey closed British Summer Time’s Hyde Park series in style. Offering the crowd a night full of gorgeous vocals, theatrics, and timeless alt-pop hits. Interestingly prior to her headline slot to the 65,000 excited fans at Hyde Park, The Video Games singer was in the headlines due to her recent Glastonbury Festival appearance. At Glastonbury, Lana was half an hour late for her headline set on the Other Stage, thus causing the festival to sadly cut her set short. Yet that’s all in the past now and on a sunny Sunday evening in London, fans eagerly awaited her arrival onto the stage.
As soon as her band members and dancers made their way to the tastefully kitted out stage (a stage adorned with floral swings and more), Lana Del Rey soon appeared and the crowd absolutely erupted with applause. The singer opened the Hyde Park set with the infectious A&W, the lead single from her most recent record, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. Over the nineteen-track set, you could tell Lana was beaming with happiness and was so grateful for the experience as she kept thanking the crowd over the course of the evening. For most of the set, the artist let the music do the talking and that’s more than fine. Hearing gems from albums like Ultraviolence, Norman Fucking Rockwell, and all her other acclaimed projects, was an absolute treat. Interestingly, Lana did allude back to her Glastonbury set by humorously stating “I think this is where I got cut off last time…” before launching into Born To Die’s Diet Mountain Dew.
The night saw a whole host of incredibly special moments from Lana and her band. In terms of big tracks, Del Rey played huge fan-favourites like Young & Beautiful, Pretty When You Cry, Blue jeans, and Summertime Sadness to name but only a few of the hits on display. Something admirable that Lana tends to do in some shows is head down to the front row of the barrier and tonight was no exception. Before she launched into White Mustang, the singer said hello to fans up-close and signed albums, hugged fans, and even took the odd selfie. For someone who’s undoubtedly one of the biggest pop stars in the world, it’s nice to see her still have that authentic and genuine sort of connection with fans from time to time.
Amongst all the ethereal vocals, choreographed dance, and ambiance, there were also plenty of special moments to see in the crowd. It was so moving to see such a diverse and varied fanbase turn up for the show as well. Stood directly in front of me was a mother with her teenage daughter, it was so touching to see how happy the pair were and as this was the teenager’s first time seeing Lana Del Rey live, the mother was wholesomely recording her daughter’s reaction. It was lovely to see.
As Del Rey finished up her career-spanning live show, she was keen to emphasise how London has a special place in her heart: “Thank you so much, London. This was a second home for a very long time, you allowed us to tour for the last thirteen years.” Lana del Rey concluded the event with the title track from her latest album and then finally with set closer, Video Games. In an optimistic fashion the songwriter said: “It’s only up from here, god bless, be safe!” before departing the stage.
If Glastonbury was somewhat of a loss for the singer, Del Rey’s BST Hyde Park show was an outright success. It cemented Lana’s prowess as a truly inimitable artist at the height of her powers.
Words Cameron Poole
Lana Photography Dave Hogan