Coachella 2014: Lana Del Rey, selfie queen, dominates ‘West Coast’

Lana Del Rey performs Sunday, the third and final day of the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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?

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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.

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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?

Twitter: @__chrislee