LANA DEL REY
I mainly went to see Lana Del Rey's free show at Amoeba Records in San Francisco on February 9, 2012 to settle the controversy concerning her live performances. While her voice reportedly sounds stellar at most live shows, the rising pop singer's Saturday Night Live performance early this year was notoriously and disturbingly bad. I braved a line that stretched almost halfway around the McDonald's a door down from Amoeba to hear her, and by the time I managed to make my way through the door, she had already started. Though it was difficult to make out what she was saying or even what song she was playing over the din of the crowd that had come to see the artist with the number one album in America play a tiny record store, her voice sounded as clear as a jewel.
I waited by the Oldies section with my Comfort Women bandmate Daniel Meyer to catch a glimpse of the woman who has had so much written about her (Meyer and I are both avid readers of Hipster Runoff, and I had actually reviewed her album myself a few days before--read it here). She looked like nothing so much as an affable, smiling pop star, signing autographs for her fans and soaking up the fame with a warm smile suggesting she was thoroughly enjoying herself.
I later joined a throng of about a dozen fans who were frantically attempting to attract Del Rey's attention by waving through the video-annex window, staring at the singer as if she were an exotic creature behind glass at a zoo. Del Rey managed to turn and give the fans a wave before a security guard came along and herded us away from the window.