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Jeremy Allen , April 29th, 2013 12:38

The singer turns out an impressive performance for the Paris stop of her tour, reflecting her elation at being in the City Of Light, finds Jeremy Allen

Lana Del Rey is late. Not Bieber late, but overdue enough to apologise when she finally appears. A chrysalis-like drape stitched together with white feathers and the wings of angels drops from the sky, to reveal a set that somehow reminds you of both Psycho and The Wizard Of Oz at the same time. The stage is strewn with palm trees, a Narnia-like wardrobe and a screen that draws you into Lana Del Rey’s world when you’re not looking at Del Rey herself, bringing you images that reinforce who she is and what she represents. Swimming pools and storms, suburban America, Psalm 51, riding with Hell's Angels and motels with neon signage.

It seems more than anywhere she’s been longing for Paris the most, and now here she finally is on the first night of a large scale European tour, fashionably en retard but ready. She gushes about being on an "iconic stage in such an iconic city" and to prove it she covers Cole Porter’s 'I Love Paris'. She breezes on in a white wedding dress cropped away to reveal gym legs and a pair of white pumps, and her only deviation from the white theme is the hue of her eyeshadow, like Tretchikoff’s Green Lady. Her voice, of course, is stunning.

She’s never been this ready. Never let it be said that Lizzie Grant doesn’t work hard, and if it’s an illusion she’s created then that illusion is complete. A cover of ‘Blue Velvet’ is overkill perhaps, but Lana Del Rey is perfect tonight; her falsetto unimpeachable, especially on ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Carmen’, a dagger to the heart of her naysayers. At one stage she wanders right up to the crowd to unbridled teenage rapture. A young boy in lycra lunges forward and kisses her on her face and as she recoils from the crowd her rictus smile remains in place, even if you interpret her eyes as screaming "get these fucking people away from me".

LDR exits the stage, as is customary before an encore, though she never quite leaves us. A filmed montage like a fragrance commercial arrives on the big screen and her mini-orchestra at the side of the stage continues to play with a recording of her spoken word delivered airily on top. It seems aspirational, like a Coke promo. And then when she returns she notes how it blows her mind to be on a stage that Edith Piaf once sang on. “And Jeff Buckley,” she adds, weirdly. 'Video Games' and 'National Anthem' are grand enough to finish off a truly memorable night, with the UK in May in for a treat if Paris in April is anything to judge it by.

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