Local Current Blog

Review: Lana Del Rey brings wintertime gladness to Target Center

Lana Del Rey, in a promotional image for the L.A. to the Moon Tour.

The second Lana Del Rey stepped on stage at Target Center last night, there were deafening screams from the crowd. Anytime she wasn’t singing during her opening song, “13 Beaches,” there were deafening screams. That’s the kind of fan base the post-modern chanteuse has built for herself.

It was Del Rey’s first-ever show in Minnesota, and the kickoff for her L.A. to the Moon Tour. “This is the first stop of the tour for a reason,” she said onstage. “It’s one of my very favorite places.” She mentioned that her brother, Charlie, lives in Minnesota, along with “half of my best friends.”

The beach-themed stage set featured palm trees, rocks, and lounge chairs on which Del Rey, who remained in a summery white dress for the duration of the show, occasionally sat down to sing. In addition to projections behind the stage, the front section of the stage itself was a video screen so it could appear as though the star were walking down a highway, lying amidst cresting waves (as she did for the opening section of “Pretty When You Cry”), or striding over billowing flames.

There were two background singers/dancers who accompanied Del Rey, but rather than the kind of tightly choreographed spectacle that often characterizes touring arena shows, the LA to the Moon shows unfold with a nonchalant theatricality. Rather than glower in the atmospherics of her moody music, Del Rey glowed.

Del Rey’s small band relied extensively on keyboards and samplers, and often she seemed to be basking in the lush soundscapes as much as her fans were; her prerecorded backing vocals would unfold while she wandered across the stage. Not that there was any question of lip-syncing when it came to the lead vocals: Del Rey was in strong voice, which her pristine sound mix carried with fidelity even to the upper reaches of the boxy arena.

In contrast to her tightly controlled public image, the singer seemed relaxed and genuine, treating the set like a giant playground. After swings descended for her dancers to use during “Ride,” she said she was jealous and plopped into one herself for “Video Games” — which, along with other songs from her smash debut Born to Die — was clearly the most familiar to the crowd.

Empty rows of upper-deck seats and a swath of open floor suggested that an arena might have been a stretch for the cult-heroine pop star, but the fans who did turn up were delirious with excitement. The affection was clearly mutual, and after Del Rey performed “White Mustang” she rewarded front-row fans with an extended greeting that included several selfies.

She closed the show with “Off to the Races,” her band playing an extended outro so that she could go take more pictures with the crowd. Given the star’s willingness to interact with the audience, it seemed a shame there wasn’t a catwalk or second stage to extend her presence — but even on the moon, a budget’s a budget.

Up-and-coming pop R&B singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko opened the show, delivering a mesmerizing vocal performance amidst lush planters and a full-sized harp.

13 Beaches
Pretty when you Cry
Born to Die
Blue Jeans
White Mustang
National Anthem
When the World was at War we kept Dancing
Music to Watch Boys to
Lust for Life
Medley: Change, Black Beauty, Young and Beautiful
Video Games
Summertime Sadness
Serial Killer
Off to the Races