Reflections on Lana Del Rey's stunning and timeless Coachella set - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Motorbikes. Pole dancing. A giant swing. Lana Del Rey’s Coachella sets were nothing if not elaborate. The main stage featured an elegant palace-like building, with winding staircases, two large balconies, and screens projecting black-and-white live footage intermixed with vintage stock film and clips from past music videos. Her slew of backup dancers added a graceful touch to the performance, with Del Rey occasionally joining the stylized choreography.

Every element felt carefully crafted to cover all the iconic visuals associated with her music. Arguably better than the first weekend (although the surprise duet with Billie Eilish in week one made this a hard feat), Lana Del Rey’s second performance at Coachella was nothing short of spectacular.

Del Rey started off her show just as she did her first, entering in style with her dancers, riding motorbikes and waving to screaming fans, a likely call back to her music video for “Ride.” After settling on stage, she took a second to look out into the audience. “We are so happy to be here, this is so crazy, ten years ago, almost to the day!” declared Del Rey in reference to her first ever Coachella performance, before launching into a sultry version of “Without You,” hitting every high note and setting the mood for the night.

She continued with her hits, with altered versions of “West Coast,” “Doing Time, “Cherry,” and “Ride,” complete with monologue and swing.

Her surprise guest of the night was Camilla Cabello, who came out to sing “I LUV IT,” wearing a Pepsi Cola shirt. Del Rey added a few accompanying vocals, but mainly hung out on the balcony, watching on as Cabello delivered a high-energy performance.

Cabello’s appearance wasn’t entirely out-of-the-blue (Del Rey had posted a picture of Cabello with the caption “i luv it” back in March), but it was a sharp departure from Del Rey’s softer songs from earlier in the night, highlighting a disconnect between Del Rey’s style of music and the large stage on which she sang.

This is not to say that Del Rey’s stage presence was lacking in any way. Rather, her songs have a perpetually intimate feel, that can get lost in translation in large festivals and arenas. The size of her fan base demands such large venues, but her songs and lyrics paint a picture that could be better received in music halls, with the strength of a full orchestra behind her.

Other guests for the night included Jon Batiste for “Candy Necklaces,” and Jack Antonoff for “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it,” the latter of which featured a narrative dance complete with some very attractive men in even tighter shirts.

The night was full of theatrics and tenderness, with Del Rey visibly happy to be there, despite the difficulties leading up to the show. Never one to bite her tongue on social media, Del Rey took to Instagram after her week one show expressing love for her crew while simultaneously calling out her ex-tour manager for leaving without notice.

She closed out her Coachella headline with “Young and Beautiful,” singing “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful” as fireworks and trumpets flared. Del Rey will always be beautiful, and her music has shown to be timeless, inspiring new generations of fans and musicians alike.

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die - Live at Coachella 2024
Lana Del Rey at Coachella
Lana Del Rey
Coachella 2024
  • Without You
  • West Coast
  • Doin' Time
  • Summertime Sadness
  • Cherry
  • Pretty When You Cry
  • Ride
  • Born to Die
  • I LUV IT (featuring Camilla Cabello)
  • Bartender
  • Chemtrails Over the Country Club
  • The Grants
  • Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.
  • Norman Fucking Rockwell
  • Arcadia
  • Candy Necklace" (featuring Jon Batiste)
  • hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it" (featuring Jack Antonoff)
  • A&W
  • Young and Beautiful
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