Monday, March 4, 2013

Lana Del Rey's Best Live Performances

To fill the gab between reviews, I've decided to make some little lists of my favorite performances, songs, videos, etc., which will show up periodically throughout the year. Now, I want to start of with my favorite live performances by my two favorite artists, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey. I'm having a lot of trouble picking favorites from Lady Gaga, because so many of her live performances are amazing. Lana Del Rey's options were easier to narrow down, so I decided to post her countdown first. Since she has had a smaller amount of time on the stage, I will only do a top five countdown for Del Rey, but Gaga will get ten spots.

Ever since her less-than-satisfactory performance on Saturday Night Live, Lana Del Rey has been constantly been bashed for her lackluster stage appeal. Heck, I'm a big fan of Lana, and I even mentioned that SNL mess-up in my review of Born To Die. However, now I've seen that people have spent too much time putting down her live performances, so I figured I might as well show some love for some of her great moments on stage. After all, when we're still in an age where people stand by Britney Spears' vocal 'talent,' I have every right to defend Del Rey.

What I do like about Lana Del Rey's performances is how casual she is. She doesn't get too fancy with her wardrobe; I've seen YouTube videos of her performing in a nice sweater and jeans. It makes her look so humble and down-to-earth. I can also appreciate how she doesn't overproduce her shows. Sure, I love Lady Gaga and her massive dance breakdowns and pyrotechnics, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, I also love Lana Del Rey's classy approach to live performances. It's usually just Lana, a microphone, and the orchestra, piano, or backing track. No back-up singers, no explosions, no props, no wardrobe changes, nothing. You can just tell how much she wants you to just enjoy the music instead of being distracted by other things.

Lana Del Rey's live performances are not something that people take a liking to instantly; I know I wasn't too big on her performance in the beginning either. I saw her on Saturday Night Live, and watched a few low quality videos of her at a few small venues on YouTube. Then, in September of last year, that changed when I stumbled over her professional-recorded performance during the iTunes Festival concert event in London. I fell in love with her improved live vocals and casual performance attire after a few songs of the setlist. Visually, she still was quite awkward and nervous, but she sounded great (with the exception of "Million Dollar Man.")

Now, I must stop my rambling, because I could go on forever in this post. Here is my list of favorite live performances from Lana Del Rey!

5. "Born To Die" | BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

4. "Video Games" | Late Show with David Letterman

3. "Summertime Sadness" | iTunes Festival 2012

2. "Ride" | Langs de Leeuw

1. "National Anthem" | iTunes Festival 2012

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