Lana Del Rey @ The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, 23 Aug

Lana Del Rey gives a slick and cool performance tonight that, though lacking in dynamism, bewitches her loyal subjects

Live Review by Kate Pasola | 24 Aug 2017

In the eyes of her beguiled fans, Lana Del Rey can do no wrong. No more is that the case than in Glasgow, where legend has it she resided for a year. Perhaps that's why, despite a lethargic mood and an absent support act, even her sound technician is met with adolescent shrieks as he prepares the stage. When the icon herself steps into the sky blue lights, joined by her currently omnipresent back-up artists, the crowd bursts into a sea of screams and phone screens.

The show begins with a nonchalant performance of Cruel World which sets an introspective tone for the next 75 minutes. It’s mostly slick, apart from a slightly tense false start in a rare performance of Ride. She's also generous with her curation, including early-career rippers like Video Games, Blue Jeans and Born to Die with all the bad gal snarls and ironic hamminess that she’s become known for. That said, when she introduces songs from new album Lust for Life ("If I don't fuck it up, I'm gonna do a new song called White Mustang"), the fans show they've been doing their homework in the weeks since the record dropped in July.

Though the luxurious, syncopated soundscapes underscoring songs like Cherry elevate Del Rey’s insouciant vocals, at times they overwhelm. A more naked rendition of February’s single Love, accompanied by keys and strings offers an emotive climax. The arena falls silent, save a few harmonising super-fans, charmed as she croons compliments about their vintage music, their coolness, their young love and nonchalance. “If you were curious, I wrote that song about you,” she grins. “This is the place I called home for a year.”

The finale, a menacing performance of Lolita-esque track Off to the Races demonstrates an energy and theatricality that, had it appeared earlier, might have galvanised the entire show. Del Rey uses the rapturous outro to visit the front row, with roaming cameras projecting her benevolence in Hollywood monochrome for the rest of the arena. As she returns to the stage laden with bouquets and gifts, it’s clear that for many, seeing their Coney Island queen in the flesh was enough.