Review: Lana Del Rey at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

An atmospheric night at du Arena on Yas Island

Review: Lana Del Rey at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

Lana Del Rey delivered exactly what we expected on her debut performance in the UAE.

A slow-paced, brooding display of vocal ability, interspersed with some impressive visuals, fan interactions and a mesmerising presence.

Starting with the title track from her latest album, the crowd screamed as she glided onto the stage and the singer couldn’t hide the smile from her face.

Despite it being her first foray into the region, her presence was welcomed by a large number of adoring fans who were waiting at the front row with LPs, posters and signs for the popular singer.

They would enjoy once-in-a-lifetime moments later in the set.

While it wasn’t the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen at du Arena, the thousands who turned out to see the American singer were in good voice.

Pausing to take in the atmosphere after the first track, Del Rey explained that she would start with slow songs, then play some covers and then some from her back catalogue.

The band played new song Bartender, a cover of Joni Mitchell’s For Free and iconic hit Born To Die, before the singer took a break to embrace the crowd.

For several minutes she signed autographs, took selfies and spoke with the fans down the front, who couldn’t contain their excitement.

Returning to the stage, the ensemble of musicians moved on to popular songs Blue Jeans, Cherry and Pretty When You Cry before performing a medley of Change, Black Beauty, Young and Beautiful, and the hit song Ride.

Now the crowd was suitably warmed up, the enigmatic singer climbed upon a flower-covered swing to perform some big numbers.

First up was Video Games before Summertime Sadness, Doin’ Time, Off to The Races and Shades of Cool.

Bringing her set to an end it was back to more recent material, as Del Rey performed Venice before making her final bow.

An atmospheric, iconic and highly memorable performance from a singer who goes against the grain and fails to fit into the pop star model.

It wasn’t the high-energy, booming, loud concert you might expect for a Yasalam experience, but that’s exactly why it was brilliant.

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