Pushing the saucy song title aside, what Lana Del Rey does best is tender romance -- especially when it’s based in California. This Norman Fucking Rockwell album cut shows off the singer’s penchant for moody, ‘60s-inspired melodies and expansive, laid back soundscapes that are sonic representations of sunflowers, walking on the beach with your lover and sipping on wine coolers that are a little too sweet.
Lana often tucks her witty sense of humor beneath languid production and breathy vocals, and “Brooklyn Baby” highlights this trait well. The satirical fan favorite from 2014’s Ultraviolence makes for a fun sing-along for those in the audience who ever had to suffer through relationships with overbearing hipsters.
Out of all of her Sad Girl Anthems, this one evokes the most passion. You can almost hear Lana’s voice crack under pressure on “Ride,” found on 2012’s Paradise, and that sorrowful feeling will be cranked to level 10 during her live performance. Just imagine all of her fans shouting “I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy” as they reminscine on tear-stricken, flower crown-adorned summers of yore.
“Lust For Life”
In another life, Lana was definitely the frontwoman of a ‘60s girl group! “Lust For Life,” the Weeknd-assisted single from her eponymous 2017 album, has sprinklings of The Angels and The Shangri-Las’ dreamy melodies. It’s the perfect time for the singer to create a nostalgic experience on stage with her background singers and a bit of synchronized choreography.
“Young And Beautiful”
Speaking of nostalgia, she can keep the throwback theme going with this highlight from 2013’s The Great Gatsby film. The song sinks deep into Lana’s love for somber lyrical themes and sweeping melodies, and it’s also one of the strongest showcases of her full-bodied vocals.
“Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have - But I Have It”
Nearly every artist needs a section during their concert that calls for a vulnerable acoustic moment. “Hope” is Lana at her darkest, as she muses about struggling to find happiness while wallowing in a dark depression. Her naked vocals combined with sparse piano notes is enough to make everyone in the audience bawl their eyes out.
“Mariners Apartment Complex”
"Mariners Apartment Complex,” the first track we heard from Norman Fucking Rockwell, displays Lana’s growth not only as a songwriter, but as a woman. The singer teamed up with Jack Antonoff for this country-tinged ballad, which is undoubtedly one of her strongest to date. You can almost hear the nodding echoes from the crowd as she exasperatedly whispers, “I fucked up. I know that. But, Jesus / Can’t a girl just do the best she can?”
“Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind”
The news of Woodstock 50’s cancellation (RIP) was one of the biggest and most confusing merry-go-round stories of the year, so it’s only right that Lana performs this Lust For Life cut in its honor. But rather than highlighting the new festival’s messiness, the song will instead remind fans of a simpler time where all you had to worry about was not bumping to anyone while swaying in the middle of a desert ground.
“Born To Die”
As soon as Lana utters the line “Feet don’t fail me now,” the crowd will erupt in excitement, as she takes things back to her 2012 debut album of the same name. The title track served as the key into the singer’s intensely mournful world, and nearly a decade later, we haven’t looked back since.
Lana’s discography is drowning in somberness, so we definitely have to throw in some cheekiness to balance things out! Just imagine her smiling while confidently exclaiming, “My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola” as she saunters across the stage. And that high note she hits during the song’s bridge will have the crowd falling to its knees.
“High By The Beach”
Lana will be performing at many amphitheaters during this leg of her tour... and she’s also mainly performing in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. So of course she has to throw in “High By The Beach” to her setlist. Taken from 2015’s Honeymoon, it’s a kiss-off anthem where all the singer wants to do is get away from her headache of a boyfriend and just roll one up. Who can’t relate to that?
Lust For Life’s “Cherry” is one of Lana’s many torch songs...but just a little more burnt around the edges. She laments about a shattered relationship, using cherries, rosemaries and peaches as metaphors of life’s pleasantries that have been ruined. Her little quips of “BITCH” and “FUCK” will sting so much harder when shouted across a big theater.
“Kinda Outta Luck”
This wouldn’t be a Lana Del Rey show without the addition of an unreleased track, now would it? “Kinda Outta Luck” is lifted from the singer’s early recordings pre-Born To Die, and perfectly captures her then-signature Lolita style. Performing this naughty wink of a tune, which happily recalls killing your sugar daddy, would be a thrill for day-one fans.
With Lana stopping in so many cities in California, she surely has to perform her psychedelic ode to her favorite state. The song is completely hypnotizing, from the surf rock-inspired melodies courtesy of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to Lana’s dreamy vocals.
We described it best back in May: “Doin’ Time” is “summertime, without the sadness.” Lana has a knack for unexpected covers, and this rendition of Sublime’s 1996 song is her most fun one. The crowd will immediately begin to bop as soon as the warm bassline drops.
The song that started it all. The diehards in the audience will begin to tearfully recall the first time they heard this soaring ballad from Lana’s debut album. She wouldn’t even to do the heavy lifting; her fans will belt every lyric as the lights from their phones glimmer throughout the theater.
We would be crazy to leave this one off our fantasy set list! “Summertime Sadness” has become one of Lana’s trademark tunes, and still ignites a visceral reaction from fans. Once those trippy drums boom from the speakers, they’ll begin to dance as the show comes to an end.