Lana Del Rey was in no way afraid of the selfie.
At three different points in the alt-torch singer’s 45-minute Outdoor Stage set Sunday night, Del Rey descended into the audience to vamp and pose with fans, allowing – encouraging, even – the rampant repurposing of her image across social media. She even prolongued one cinematically sexy smooch with a male fan who couldn’t seem to get his phone-camera game together quickly enough to simply point and shoot.
Given Del Rey’s nostalgia-tinged sex appeal, who could have blamed him?
The Manhattan-reared trip-hop diva had a more elaborate game plan than any iPhone interaction with ecstatic fans could ever indicate. In her second, back-to-back weekend performance in a prime-time slot at North America’s preeminent summer musical event, Del Rey quietly achieved a measure of redemption – a sort of payback for her critically maligned 2012 “Saturday Night Live” set that unfairly defined her as One Who Refused to Dance before a national audience.
Del Rey (nee Elizabeth Grant) is a massively popular stadium-rocking act in Europe thanks to the chart-topping success of her oontz-laced remix of “Summertime Sadness” by Cedric Gervais. But stateside, the chanteuse is still licking the wounds she endured for failing to project a Katy Perry or Rihanna level of on-stage energy on “SNL” – never mind that Del Rey, 27, has always been closer in scope to Mazzy Star than Miley Cyrus, despite the millennial comparisons.
On Sunday, Del Rey – in a pastel-hued mini-dress -- delivered a vampy, downbeat set that managed to delight the Coachella masses absent the kind of highly revved 140 beats-per-minute cavalcades that define so many EDM acts at the festival these days. In place of the kind of move-yourself-to-dance abandon so commonly associated with the festival, the singer-songwriter offered a more cerebral, retro-leaning suite of tunes that showcased her slow-burn bangers such as “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans.”
One of the highlights: Del Rey’s reprisal of the new single – that the performer appropriately enough premiered the week before -- “West Coast,” with its lyrics:
Down on the West Coast, they got a sayin’
If you’re not drinkin’, then you’re not playin’
But you’ve got the music
You’ve got the music in you, don’t you?