Lana Del Rey Stuns In the Rain at Norway's Oya Fest

Johannes Granseth
Lana Del Rey performs during Oya Festival on Aug. 9, 2017 in Oslo, Norway.

It may have been Lana Del Raining in Oslo on Thursday (Aug. 9), but that didn’t stop a massive crowd from coming to perhaps the most coveted show at the Norwegian festival Øya. Since the release of her new album Lust For Life, Lana Del Rey has been playing select shows in the U.S., mostly in California, but is spending her August in Europe playing the festival circuit. For her set, Del Rey even showed her Scandinavian pride with a FIKA-striped sweater and leggings alongside her signature gold hoops and wing-tipped eyeliner. Del Rey shined In front of a neon sign that oozed the romanticized tackiness of Hollywood.

Onstage, Del Rey has an undeniable talent for making an entire set of ballads feel like pure rock n’ roll. To say she’s come a long way since her 2012 SNL performance is an understatement. Del Rey may have kept theatrics to a minimum, but she had support from dancers Alexandra Kaye and Ashley Rodriguez, and her smoky vocals whisked the audience away into another world of getting high, wearing red dresses and playing video games.

During her 14-song performance, Del Rey played a balance of hits from previous albums and deeper cuts on her most recent record. Beginning with the dark, striking “Body Electric,” Del Rey made it clear that ballad or not, she was a rock n’ roll hero. To complement the unexpected rain, Del Rey sang a “jazzy version” of “Shades Of Cool,” where she overemphasized the “strange weather.” The smokiness of “Blue Jeans” had the crowd swaying in unison.

When “Born To Die” came on, Del Rey started out in a coffeehouse-quiet tone, but escalated with a change from “Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain” to “Let me f*** you hard in the pouring rain." While Del Rey appeared quite demure throughout the evening, the added profanity embodied the essence of Del Rey, overwrought with sneaky seduction. Unlike her previous live shows, she changed things up for the crowd, adding in “Music To Watch Boys To” to her live set for the first time and playing the Laurel Canyon-tinged  “Cruel World” near the end of the concert instead of as the opener as she’s done in previous tours. And just as Del Rey entered, she left with a rock-accented “Off To The Races,” which paralleled the swagger of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”

What made this particular set stand out was how gracious she was, praising her fans and spending 10 minutes meeting those in the front row, taking photos and kissing cheeks during an extended “Born To Die.” Her attitude and appreciation for her supporters made her even more alluring. Plus, she dropped some of the artifice -- she was joyful, grateful and seemingly more comfortable than ever being the person behind the persona. Lust For Life was just the beginning for a more hopeful, heartfelt Del Rey. The woman on stage wasn’t the mysterious character she built over the years: it was Lizzy Grant.

Setlist

“Body Electric”
“Cherry”
“Shades Of Cool”
“Blue Jeans”
“Born To Die”
“White Mustang”
“Music To Watch Boys To”
“Ultraviolence”
“Change”
“Ride”
“Love”
“Video Games”
“Cruel World”
“Off To The Races”