Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the exclusive and intimate gig at the Jazz Café with the one and only Lana Del Rey. After having her album on repeat for the past few months I was so ecstatic when I found out that I was one of the lucky few to attend this one-off gig – this is my story of meeting Lana Del Rey.
I had been waiting with some friends outside the Jazz Café in Camden for some time, the weather was fickle but that didn’t dampen our spirits, we were just enjoying the anticipation of perhaps finally meeting Lana and then seeing her perform later that night.
When her car pulled up, it all happened very quickly. As we walked towards her, suddenly out of the blue around 50-80 people showed up wanting to catch a glimpse of the star and flashing their pretty little cameras. Somehow I managed to get face to face with her for a very long time and she greeted me with a hug and a kiss! She looked stunning; a natural beauty with darker hair than usual.
I don’t know about Lana but I felt a bit overwhelmed with so many people surrounding us, I asked her if she was okay and had enough space, she held my hand and said “I’m okay sweetie, I can breathe.” The crowd complimented Lana on her new video “Blue Jeans” and she seemed genuinely excited to hear our feedback, we said jokingly “Those crocodiles were scary!” to which she replied “Those damn crocodiles” whilst laughing as she was signing and taking photos. I said how perfect Born To Die was and then asked for a picture, she said “Of course!” and hugged me whilst doing so:
I couldn’t get out of this circle we’d formed so I stayed face to face with Lana for a little bit longer, I said to her “I have a card and a drawing for you!” she smiled and said thank you whilst giving me a kiss on the cheek. After spending so long there I decided to get out because firstly I couldn’t breathe and secondly because others wanted a picture too. Lana spent an hour signing autographs and taking pictures with some people going back for more. I did too and I asked her if she could sign my CD:
Lana was incredibly sweet, as it’d been raining and she wiped the raindrop off of it before she signed it! I said I loved her ring and she said “Thaaaank you!” It was pretty awesome, I mean let’s face it there aren’t many celebrities who would stand out in the rain to make sure everyone got a picture and she even seemed surprised that so many of us were there to greet her. So after all this Lana then goes inside to get ready for her performance and I line up with my friend to go inside and see her sing.
An hour or so passed by and finally we all started to trickle in. We saw a spot and managed to get front row; right in front of where her guitarist would be. There were only a few hundred of us in this one-off exclusive HMV gig. I’d never been to Camden’s famous Jazz Café before but I adored the intimacy of it all. There was an air of anticipation when she walked on-stage and softly said “Let’s do Blue Jeans”. Would it be a repeat of SNL? Would she be too nervous? Is she more than just a one hit wonder?
My answer? Lana Del Rey was incredible. With just a piano, one guitarist and a string quartet her voice filled the air and the audience stood in appreciative silence. She sang those high awe-inspiring notes with ease and gave a nervous laugh every time a song ended when the audience exploded into applause and cheers. As I was watching her perform Born To Die I thought to myself that this experience is utterly remarkable, what a once in a life time opportunity. During Summertime Sadness she saw me miming the words and she smiled and winked, it was surreal. I felt so proud of her and even more impressed and found humour to the fact she was sporting a very nice Guns ‘n’ Roses tee, perhaps fueling more Axl-Rose related rumours.
The only thing wrong with the performance is that we weren’t there for longer! A few cheers asked Lana for an encore and for her to sing more successful tracks from her debut album, she giggled and said quietly into the mic “you knew it was a short one” and laughter erupted. The whole set was alluring and romantic, I’m pretty sure Lana was was thrilled with the response. Her amorous voice brought a smile to people’s faces and I saw a couple swaying, holding hands and looking so happy as they listened to Video Games, they even kissed at the end of it. Last night it’s safe to say Lana Del Rey had made her mark on the London music scene with her unique voice and cool style that you too wished you could look so good in jeans and a tee. Her nervousness she seems to portray and her timid nature is what makes her so enticing and makes the performance all that more satisfying. Sure she doesn’t have costume changes, big dance numbers and a team of back-up singers but to be frank she doesn’t need it, her voice is all she needs, no one could take their eyes off of her.
All I can say is that 10th April 2012 will stay in my mind for a long time, I can’t wait until more gigs to watch Lana perform. I’d recommend her music to anyone, the hypnotic genre-skipping ballads are enough for anyone to fall head over heels for this New York born lady.
I wish all the luck and success for Lana Del Rey, she’s got her whole career in front of her and I can’t wait to watch it flourish and witness her fan base grow and grow.
Here are some of my own photos from the night, as well as videos to the performances coming soon; including her hit single Born To Die and one of my favourites Carmen. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me what you think!
I’d also like to give a special thanks to Ansa Gohar for taking me to see Lana! I had the best night, thank you so much!
Stay happy, stay smiling!
Ciara Judgin xx
The photos and videos featured in this article belong to Ciara Judge, all rights reserved.