It may have been six months since Lana Del Rey's catastrophic performance on Saturday Night Live, but very few people have allowed her to forget it. With her latest slew of shows at Irving Plaza (June 7th, 8th, and 10th), it is clear that Del Rey's aim is to subdue all negativity regarding her talent. Moreover, Del Rey enlisted the help of an unlikely opening act, Zebra Katz (of "Ima Read"/Rick Owens fame), to perhaps further buffet her credibility as a desirable hip hop collaborator (Del Rey's music has been revamped by the likes of Azealia Banks and Notorious B.I.G. via Terry Urban).
After Zebra Katz took the stage with Njena Redd Foxx (performing the tracks "Hipsters on the L Train," "ICU," "Silly Bitch," and "Ima Read"--though Del Rey's unabashedly white audience seemed at a loss to comprehend the goodness of the songs), Del Rey did not leave the audience waiting long, delving into "Blue Jeans" as her opener and then treating them to a new song entitled "Body Electric." Clutching earnestly to her dress and executing hand motions similar to Madonna in the video for "Frozen," it was evident that Del Rey's only focus was on singing at her finest.
Del Rey then jumped into "Born to Die," continuing with the use of found video imagery that she has become renowned for. Picking up the pace (at least by Del Rey song tempo standards), "Lolita" followed, with random flashes to JonBenet Ramsey that were both slightly disturbing and subliminal. Appropriately enough for her tour, Del Rey includes "Summertime Sadness" in the setlist as well, which is, in this listener's opinion, the best track off of Born to Die.
Continuing her sultry, yet innocent tone, Del Rey belted "Without You," a song that starts out with the materialistic lyrics, "Everything I want I have: Money, notoriety, and rivieras. I even think I found God in the flashbulbs of the pretty cameras," but then goes on to lament, "They think I have it all/I've nothing without you." This then transitions into an equally male laudatory track, "Million Dollar Man" (which I much prefer as the Notorious B.I.G. mash-up, "Unbelievable Man").
The latest single from her album, "Carmen," was delivered in the most endearing manner, with lyrics like, "Only seventeen but she walks the streets so mean." To conclude the show, Del Rey delivered the one-two punch of "Video Games" and "National Anthem." In a somewhat pretentious move, however, Del Rey did not offer up any encores--though, in her defense, she did sing most of the available material on her album. Later this summer, Del Rey is slated to re-release an album with the songs she wrote as Lizzy Grant, called, aptly, Lana Del Rey A.K.A. Lizzy Grant.