This past Saturday (Sep. 21) Lana Del Rey kicked off the first leg of her “Norman F-cking Rockwell” Tour in support of her sixth studio album, which arrived last month. Norman Fucking Rockwell! accrued giant honors for the artist, such as being dubbed “the next best American songwriter, period” by Pitchfork. It’s no surprise, then, that the “Norman F-cking Rockwell” Tour began with a concert packed with magic, artistry, and delectable surrealism for both Del Rey and her fans.
Lana Del Rey chose to take over Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater—a beachside venue just west of Fire Island—for her “Norman F-cking Rockwell” Tour opener. She kicked off the night with the album title track, a song made more beautiful by just how wistful and serene Del Rey sounds when she sings it. Lyrics such as “Goddamn, manchild/You fucked me so good that I almost said, ‘I love you’” act like sunlight breaking through darkly captivating melodic clouds.
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In her white lace dress, clad in her own folk-Americana aesthetic, Lana Del Rey acts as our wandering spirit guide from an earlier era of songwriters. She’s a beacon from The Last Waltz. She’s Elvis, she’s Bob Dylan, she’s Patti Smith. She’s even The Beach Boys—when she wants to be. But above all, she is Lana Del Rey—the glamorous and delicate troubadour for these frenzied times and her millennial counterparts.
An artist who is made better from her proliferation of dichotomies, Lana Del Rey managed to summon both high and reverent energy for her tour opener. When the crowd finished a sing-a-long rendition of “Summertime Sadness,” she yelled back “fuck yeah!,” undermining the depressive emotional core of the track with a burst of uninhibited joy. She often broke out of her sultry monotone, specifically on “Bartender” verses and “Pretty When You Cry.”
In the past, Lana Del Rey has enforced a mystical distance between herself and her fans. But on Saturday, she appeared more interested in creating a sense of intimacy with her audience. She changed a lyric in “Born to Die” from “let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain” to “let me fuck you hard in the pouring rain.” She casually beckoned someone backstage over for “my little drink and my little vape.” She took a seat during a meandering mashup of her early catalog and took a bite from an apple that seemed to just, appear.
Lana Del Rey brought out two special guests for her tour opener at Jones Beach: Leonard Cohen’s son Adam for a cover of his father’s “Chelsea Hotel #2,” and Sean Lennon for Lust For Life’s “Tomorrow Never Came.” These guitar-wielding collaborators emphasize Del Rey’s meaningful choice to perform at Jones Beach, which she relayed to the audience on Saturday. It was the site of her very first concert, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in 1999. A fitting choice, since Del Rey has positioned herself on the cusp of being amongst those iconic songwriters with Norman Fucking Rockwell.
Though we didn’t get to hear many of Norman Fucking Rockwell‘s beloveds (“The Greatest” or “Fuck It I Love You”) we are quite certain that Lana Del Rey’s setlist will change over the course of her tour—especially when it comes to guest duets. But to get an idea of the concert’s length and bravado (she concluded the night with a fifteen minute rendition of “Venice Bitch”), check out the first “Norman F-cking Rockwell” Tour setlist, below.
“Norman F-cking Rockwell” Tour Opening Night Setlist:
- “Norman Fucking Rockwell”
- “Chelsea Hotel #2” (with Adam Cohen)
- “Born to Die”
- “Blue Jeans”
- “White Mustang”
- “Pretty When You Cry”
- “Change / Black Beauty / Young and Beautiful”
- “Tomorrow Never Came” (with Sean Lennon)
- “Video Games”
- “Mariners Apartment Complex”
- “Summertime Sadness”
- “Doin Time”
- “Off to the Races”
- “Shades of Cool”
- “Venice Bitch”