Summertime arrived at promptly 10:10 Friday night at the Shrine’s Expo Hall. Floral crowned dolls and guys galore (surprisingly) dotted the hall as we squished in to await the sultry voice and spicy lyrics of Lana Del Rey. Prior to the main event, we shared the paradox that is Father John Misty – this concert goer thoroughly enjoyed his newer song “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and a few others!
Then it was time! There she stood- Babydoll dress, wavy auburn locks, with her tattooed hands gripping the mike. She looked so at home up there. She stood there and sang for hours… she just sang. Hauntingly, flawlessly. Lana’s a hard worker- a true professional in the business! I think she has retracted her talons – she’s done clawing her way to the top – I assure you many new Lana fans were born Friday night! Nice work, young lady!
I have to comment on rights of passage. I was with my 14-year old daughter and my brother. He acquired the tickets for us for my daughter’s upcoming 8th grade graduation and birthday (okay, she’s not quite 14). We’re not allowed to ask how he got them or the cost! It was her first General Admission show. Standing on top of one another, we contemplated going in deeper – we did try, but failed… not because we couldn’t have, but because it wasn’t worth the price this time. So, we stood strong in our decent spots through Father John Misty’s set and we waited. At one point my daughter looked up at me and asked if I could smell weed. “Weed” she called it.
Finally, Lana opened with “Cola”; tough lyrics to belt while your 13-year old daughter’s standing by your side. My little singer, my talented actress knows all the words to all Lana’s songs – every last raunchy verse! But, I can play both sides… and I do. I love Lana, too. She is a strong woman. I love her for her hard work getting her what she wanted. If you study up, you’ll find the road’s been tough for her. Darkness comes across in most of her songs, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for God’s sake! But, Parenting 101 requires me to garner and share all the solid messages within Lana’s music with my daughter. My favorite is this: “The road is long, we carry on, Try to have fun in the meantime.” Was this concert my right of passage? Perhaps, yes.
Although this 14-track Lana set wasn’t showy (no pyrotechnics or costume changes), her loungy sound, crude lines and palpable passion were enough to suck everyone in. Performance highlights included “Cola”, “Carmen”, “Gods and Monsters”, “Million Dollar Man”… and we resisted the end as “National Anthem” gave way to the lengthy summertime that lies ahead for this Lana-loving San Diegan, her coming of age daughter and brother.