Lana brings her smart and sad sound to Columbus for the first time.
It’s weird to see somebody weep in public, but it was kinda unavoidable at the Schott two nights ago. Gloomy goddess Lana Del Rey made her first-ever stop in Columbus and it was truly a sacred ritual to many in attendance.
Up-and-coming Colombian singer Kali Uchis served as opener, and her act is an extremely fitting warm up for the headliner. Decked out in a vintage silver gown and glistening diamond headdress, Uchis dished up sultry lounge tunes and bona fide funk-pop jams like a seasoned pro.
Still, she didn’t hold a candle to the headliner. The ungodly howls of excitement when the lights dropped were startling, but I quickly realized they all came from 115 pound dudes in gold eye shadow. I was probably safe, Lana maybe not as much.
She kicked things off with the single “13 Beaches” from her latest album, 2017’s Lust For Life, as was the bulk of her set. Clad appropriately in all-black, including some fierce patent leather thigh-high stiletto boots, her presence dominated the beach-themed stage, bedecked with towering palm trees and a pair of lounge chairs.
After a few songs her four-piece backing band left the songbird solo, armed with an immaculate white Flying V electric guitar. She serenaded a beautifully fragile rendition of “Yayo”, both depressing and aggressively sexual at the same time, but it was repeatedly drowned out by shrieks of adulation. If you happened to be one of the people in attendance screaming over the featured act, we are now very aware you love Lana. We all do.
“I’m really feeling the energy tonight, Ohio,” she said to those people in the nicest way possible. “I can’t believe we’ve never been before.”
It was honestly a little strange to see her having such a good time. For a singer who’s biggest hits include “Summertime Sadness” and “Pretty When You Cry”, Lana seemed to be lapping up the spotlight and enjoying every minute of it. She could go on tour and not even sing a song, just bathe in adoration. Not a bad gig.
Thankfully she does belt out some of her modern classics like “Born To Die”, “Blue Jeans”, and “Video Games” like a fucking angel, as her pair of dancers flow across the stage, handing out flowers to outstretched hands.
That’s not to say there wasn’t a definite bleakness to parts of the set, moments when she acknowledged the on-going crumbling of our society, calling for unity in songs like “Change” and “When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing”. The chanteuse dedicated “God Bless America- And All The Beautiful Women In It” to participants in the recent Women’s March, which received a booming response, as did literally every other thing she did the entire night.
The sentiment fell a bit flat when she performed “National Anthem” in front of a background video depicting Lana as Jackie O and A$AP Rocky as JFK, then fondly recalled the day they spent recreating a fucking national tragedy. But oh well, no one seemed to mind when she left the stage for ten minutes just to mingle with the front row as they clawed a her like extras on The Walking Dead.
She came back up, ave a sharp run through “Off to the Races” and left to drink gin and play high-stakes roulette or whatever she does to unwind. I hope she had a very nice time in our city and my apologies to the artist if she woke up in the trunk of a stranger’s car this morning.
Photos shot by Chris Casella.