Here’s What It’s Really Like to Go to a Lana Del Rey Concert

I’m going to start this out with an honest confession: I have never been a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. It’s not that I don't like her music, in fact, a lot of her music that I have been introduced to I have fallen in love with. I just have never taken the time to listen to her outside of my friend’s car. That being said, I am tackling this article from an outsider’s point of view.

Going into this concert I already knew I was going to feel like an outsider. Everyone in the Amway Center of Orlando was bound to be part of her cult following (except for me). So I donned a floral patterned jean dress and a leather jacket to try and fit in amongst the flower crowns.

Courtesy: Rebecca McCandless

My friend and I decided to stop by the merch table before finding our seats. Some of the prices were honestly outrageous considering we had already spent a fortune on VIP tickets. The highest priced item was a 170 dollar jacket, among other merch that ranged anywhere from a 20 dollar lighter to a 100 dollar hoodie. I was shocked that the prices were so high, and kind of disappointed at Lana for monopolizing her merch in such a way.

Once we found our seats I was interested in the diversity of the crowd around us; a dad and his daughter to our right and a cute couple with neon blue glitter beards diagonal to us (they had bought the 170 dollar jacket mentioned before). The vibe of the whole arena is almost impossible to explain. I could tell everyone around us was passionate about Lana’s music. The opening act was Kali Uchis. She wore a cute frilly white two-piece and sexily swayed her hips across the stage to her most popular songs. She was an excellent start to the night and set the crowd’s mood perfectly for Lana.

When Lana’s set finally began, something I had been anticipating all day regardless of my fan status, my ears were greeted by the loudest bloodcurdling screams I have ever heard. The stage was tropical themed, with fake palm trees and beach chairs. A projection of a sandy shore with soft washing waves covered the ground Lana walked on in her disco ball cowboy boots. I am sure several crowd members were paralleling this to Jesus walking on water. She had choreographed dance routines at the beginning of her set list, but as the night went on she began to let loose and improv more, which is something I enjoyed. I began to forgive Lana for her overpriced merchandise as the concert progressed. She interacted with the crowd, waving and smiling and thanking us for singing along. About a quarter of the way in, her back up dancers walked off stage and threw roses into the crowd during a slower ballad. People fought to the death (figuratively) for those things.

Two girls in front of us were bawling their eyes out by the middle of the show. I heard one sob, “She’s just so beautiful” and to be honest girl, I can agree. As she serenaded the crowd with “Ride” her two backup dancers flew over the crowd in flower adorned swings, creating the perfect setting. During one part of the set, she asked the crowd for song requests, and even had two girls help her sing a song she “couldn’t remember”. One thing that truly touched me involved the floor crowd. They had all cut out pink, red, and white hearts and held them up with their phone flashlights illuminating the color, swaying along to Lana’s sweet melodious voice. Even Lana was a bit emotional because of this.

Courtesy: Andre Betancur

Towards the closing of the concert, Lana walked off stage and down to the front of the pit to talk to some of her fans. She spent at least ten minutes signing autographs and taking pictures with her fans. At least half of the people she talked to had gifts or letters to give her as well. As she walked down the line, cameramen projected a live video of her talking to her fans, and I could tell she was being genuine and sincere by spending ample amount of time with each person. I was touched by this gesture, and I will admit, I began to tear up. I know I have never met Lana (and I never will) but just by spending two hours at her concert, I began to see her in a new light. She seemed to be sincere and down to earth, even with the overpriced merchandise.  And yes, her voice sounds amazing live!

Even though I am not an avid listener of Lana Del Rey, now that I have experienced the queen of indie pop in person, I would consider myself a fan. This concert was super fun and an eye-opener to how even a humongous venue can feel small and personal with an excellent performer like Lana. I would also like to thank my friend, Andre, for making this experience happen!