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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

Alternative singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey hit the road for a ten-date United States tour following the release of her ninth studio album, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” last March.

Del Rey returned to touring in May when she played at Mita Festival in Brazil, her first live performance since 2019. Over the summer she played several other music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and more. On August 22, she announced a ten-date tour along the east coast, which started on Sept. 14 in Franklin, TN and ended on Oct. 5 in Charleston, WV. Fans have highly anticipated her return to live shows.

I attended Del Rey’s performance on Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh, PA at The Pavilion at Star Lake. I sat with my friends toward the center of the lawn section, which felt like being in the heart of the crowd. As soon as I arrived at the venue, I felt the excitement from the audience. Many fans dressed up in different Lana Del Rey-inspired outfits and accessories, like heart-shaped sunglasses, dresses and flowers in their hair. The show was sold out with about 22,000 people in attendance, Del Rey noted during her performance. As a huge fan myself, it felt surreal to see her live, especially near my hometown in Pittsburgh.

Country singer-songwriter Nikki Lane opened the show with a 30-minute set of electric tunes. She had a fun and witty stage presence, and joked that her songs are mostly inspired by ex-boyfriends. Lane expressed gratitude for being on tour with Del Rey, who she noted is one of her best friends. Her voice was strong but sweet, and the country set fit the show’s atmosphere more than I expected.

Del Rey opened with “Norman f****** Rockwell,” a bold, fan-favorite that highlights her beautiful vocal range. When she walked on stage, she was smiling in a detailed black and white dress. She stood at the center of the stage and scanned the audience that sang back to her. Del Rey then continued with another ballad, “Arcadia,” where her voice swayed from being gentle, to powerful, to gentle again. She was not afraid to improvise and play around with her vocals, which prompted cheers from the crowd.

Del Rey’s performance was 18 songs and about 85 minutes long. The setlist had a well-balanced rotation between slow songs and upbeat songs, and included nostalgic 2010s tracks like “Young And Beautiful,” “Ride” and “Summertime Sadness.” It was special to see her sing the music that helped her grow her as an artist. I found “Video Games” to be the most nostalgic song of the set; she sang on a long swing covered in flowers, which has been part of her concerts for nearly a decade. I remember watching videos online of her singing “Video Games”, and it was incredible to see it live myself.

What I admire the most about Del Rey’s performance is that her voice was the center of the show. The use of backup singers and dancers, props and visuals all complemented her performance well. There was little downtime between songs and few instrumental breaks, so Del Rey’s voice truly drove the music. Her lyrics and voice are what I love most about her music, and I felt that her concert was designed to let her talent to shine.

Del Rey’s backup dancers gave life to upbeat songs like “A&W” and “Cherry.” During slower songs, the dancers also helped create stage visuals. For instance, they laid on the floor surrounding Del Rey for a dramatic performance of “Pretty When You Cry.” At the end of the song, they rose to their knees as Del Rey belted powerful vocals. The backup dancers were creatively integrated into the show and added character to each song. Del Rey was also accompanied by three backup singers, who mainly added supporting harmonies to her newer music. At the beginning of “The Grants,” she harmonized acapella with the singers under a spotlight, which was one of the most beautiful parts of the concert.

“Chemtrails Over The Country Club” was one of my personal favorite songs she performed. The vocals and instrumental build-up sounded incredible, and I was not expecting her to perform it. I was also impressed with “Blue Jeans,” which sounded very rock-n-roll when she played it live.

My overall favorite part of the performance was how she concluded it. The last song she performed was the title track from her recent album, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd,” which I find to be one of her most meaningful songs. Before she performed it and ended the show, Del Rey expressed appreciation for her band, touring team and fans. She then told the audience that it is not selfish to chase their dreams, and noted how grateful she was to be living hers.

Setlist from Pittsburgh, PA on Oct. 3:
Norman f****** Rockwell
Young And Beautiful
Chemtrails Over The Country Club
The Grants
Pretty When You Cry
Stand By Your Man (Tammy Wynette cover)
Blue Jeans
Born To Die
Diet Mountain Dew
Summertime Sadness
Video Games
Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd

Lizzi is a junior studying Journalism Strategic Communication at Ohio University with certificates in Social Media and Writing. She is from Pittsburgh, PA and enjoys listening to music, thrifting, exercising, collecting vinyl and playing guitar.