Coachella 2014: Lana Del Rey Debuts “West Coast” And Delivers A Rambling, Riveting Set

“My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola” were the first words Lana Del Rey uttered at Coachella on Sunday night (April 13) as she strutted across the Outdoor Stage in front of thousands of dazed and delirious fans. And with that one lyric, she effortlessly set the tone for a rambling and rocky set that was occasionally flawed but never less than utterly enchanting.

You see, one of the many fascinating things about the girl formerly known as Lizzie Grant is the grey area between herself and the brilliant character she created. Was her apparent state of intoxication and bizarre behavior (more about that later) part of Lana Del Rey’s doomed beauty queen persona or did she just overindulge before the show? I don’t know and, to be honest, I really don’t care. The 27-year-old was on-point vocally and was born to perform against the quintessentially Cali neon-lit palm trees that surround the stage. As far as I’m concerned her theatrics (or live mishaps) only heightened the experience.

After driving the monstrous crowd — Lana had people squished like sardines from fence to fence — into a frenzy with “Cola”, the platinum-selling artist moved on to Paradise EP highlight “Body Electric”. The big-haired diva roamed the boards pouting and preening like one of the ’50s starlets she so admires before delivering the set’s first real moment with “Blue Jeans”. Which was swiftly followed by an even bigger moment. Namely, the world premiere of much-anticipated new single “West Coast”.

The “Young And Beautiful” siren has struck gold yet again. “West Coast” is an absolute rush from the very first verse with typically wry and desperate lyrics hovering over breezy guitars and lush strings (at least live). It’s another shot of twisted Californian pop in a similar vein to the brilliant “Ride”, which she sadly didn’t perform. Not that it mattered when gems like “Born To Die” are on the setlist. Within seconds, the festival ground was lit up like a Christmas tree as punters rushed to capture the moment on their phones and cameras.

At about this point, something went wrong. Lana started to wander around the stage aimlessly and even spent some time with her head under a piano. She then asked if she could smoke and went looking for a cigarette. That is after having an extended chat with her pianist about running late and needing to cut songs. The Grammy nominated singer then performed breakthrough hit “Summertime Sadness” in between puffs of tobacco. It was clear that she was out of sorts when she took her shoes off and continued to beg for extra time.

Unfortunately, the sad songbird didn’t get it. She managed to get through “Video Games” but sang much of the song with her back to the audience. Lana did, however, give the adoring crowd a heartfelt thank you for coming to see her and promised she would never forget their kindness before launching into “National Anthem”.

It started promisingly but the Ultraviolence diva soon jumped off stage and hazily roamed the grassy press pit, hugging and kissing fans in the front row. She then stopped singing and jumped the barricade to embrace more spectators. The set ended with the superstar being lifted to safety by bodyguards. Was it a little messy? Sure. Will anyone forget it in a hurry? Not likely. Lana brought the drama and that’s just part of her mystique. Bring on the North American tour. I can’t wait to do this all over again.

Watch a snippet of “West Coast” below:

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