Lana Del Rey at Glastonbury Festival 2014 review

'Oozes oodles of cool'

Photographer: Shirlaine ForrestAli Ryland on 29 June 2020

Despite 'Ultraviolence' being one of the most hotly-anticipated albums of the year and its subsequent debut at number one, Lana Del Rey is... boring. Beginning passively with bores 'Cruel World', 'Cola' and 'Body Electric', it's clear that some of the crowd are nonplussed through ignorance of the starting few. Moreover, it quickly becomes clear that the singer-songwriter is either on a quest to ooze oodles of cool - so much so that she appears to not enjoy her own set - or she is, herself, merely bored. “I'm so excited,” she drawls boringly, before gracefully yet boringly sipping through a straw from something that closely resembles a Starbucks tumbler. Truly, it's hard to believe her. “She has no showmanship,” muses one onlooker. “But she's very pretty."

Del Rey's aesthetics have today gripped a large number of viewers, and it would certainly be boring to suggest that some of the comments thrown around the crowd this Saturday afternoon detract from her status as a very talented musician. The least boring aspect of the set so far is the pop sensation's funky dress, that burns with the light of a thousand suns, and seemingly receiving more appreciative comments than her performance and set itself. Unfortunately, you can't please them all: one man finds Del Rey's outfit so boring that he shouts for her to “take it off!”. Luckily, she seems too zoned-out to hear him.

Lighting a cigarette, framed by vintage visuals; it may be cool and it and may be hip, but it doesn't add the intensity one can expect even from a lounge singer playing to a preoccupied crowd, projecting similarly achingly absent vocal range to the revered voice of Lana Del Rey. While epic title-track 'Ultraviolence' begins to pick up the crowd into a trip hop sway in lieu of a drowsy, boring nay, it still lacks the intensity one would expect from an emotive artist enjoying their performances - particularly at an event that Del Ray previously described as “the greatest festival in the world”.

This is a harsher retelling than Del Rey may deserve, as the perfectly pitched performance has its hauntingly happy moments. The (albeit, somewhat samey) 'Summertime Sadness' and 'Video Games' soar over the temporarily sunny skies, galvanising a relaxing summery afternoon sit-down for those lucky enough to grab a dry spot. And yet, it is not particularly interesting. Del Rey seems to agree herself, unceremoniously leaving the stage early during finisher 'National Anthem', to the annoyance of some. From the historically vilified 'ultraviolence' of the British suffragette movement, to Sojourner Truth's Ain't I A Woman, Lana Del Rey's set has none of the intensity or the interest of feminism - but it is, unlike feminism, pleasing to the ears of the majority.

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