Lana Del Rey and Friends Made for an Unforgettable Hollywood Bowl Concert

Lana Del Rey brought her “Norman Fucking Rockwell Tour” to her adopted hometown of Los Angeles on Oct. 10, and it was a “friends and family” affair at the Hollywood Bowl. Even heavy traffic, which delayed the start time from eight to almost nine, couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd or the performers.

Del Rey kicked off the evening with two songs from her latest album, the title track “Norman Fucking Rockwell” and “Bartender,” a number about falling for the person serving up the drinks. Then came the first of several guests, singer-songwriters Zella Day and Weyes Blood, both women who Del Rey declared as close friends. The cozy trio performed a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free,” their rich vocals complimenting each other. 

A great deal of Del Rey’s songs deal with lust and taking control of her sexuality, including many she played at the Bowl. When she performed “Born to Die,” the crowd cheered as she sang the line about having sex in the pouring rain. “Norman Fucking Rockwell” tells a tale of a relationship in which the sex was so good that she almost feels for an otherwise inadequete partner. In “Blue Jeans,” she sings to a lover who fits her “better than [her] favorite sweater.” So it was only fitting that none other than Chris Isaak should join Del Rey onstage to perform “the sexiest song ever,” his classic hit “Wicked Games.”

Sean Lennon joined Del Rey onstage for their song “Tomorrow Never Came,” a moving number about being ghosted by a lover. The pair joked about Lennon’s rock lineage, as Del Rey introduced him as a distant cousin of Don Henley’s. Later, she was joined by another famous son, Adam Cohen, who sang a duet of his father Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2.” The chemistry and mutual admiration between the two was very apparent.

Jack Antonoff has had a successful career with his own bands and producing for artists like Taylor Swift and Lorde, so it should come as no surprise that Del Rey tapped him to serve as a writer and producer on “Norman Fucking Rockwell.” The multi-talented musician, whom Del Rey credits with shaping the album, joined her onstage for one of its songs, the very personal “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have — But I Have It,” accompanying her on piano. This performance was significant because it marked the first time Del Rey performed it on tour. Her final special guest was Jesse Rutherford of the Neighborhood, who joined Del Rey for his band’s song, “Daddy Issues.”

But the brightest star that evening was no doubt Del Rey, who performed barefoot in a long white lace dress. Her elaborate set that was made to resemble an enchanted forest, complete with a stream in which she dipped her feet, served to make her look and feel like even more of a goddess. The crowd sang along with her during her performance of “Video Games,” and were equal impressed by her memorizing performances of “Pretty When You Cry” and “Summertime Sadness,” as well as her breezy version of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.” The evening ended with a hypnotizing performance of “Venice Beach,” complete with a surprise fireworks display, a fitting end for such a spellbinding night. 

Lana Del Rey performed Oct. 10 at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, CA.