Picnic highs: Lana Del Rey closes the festival in devotional style

Devotees flocked to the Main Stage on Sunday and were rewarded with a set of intoxicating woozy, sinister pop

Artist: Lana Del rey

Venue: Main Stage, Electric Picnic

Date Reviewed: September 4th, 2016

Sashaying on stage with slow, deliberate movements, Lana Del Rey’s hyper-mannered blend of pulp starlet and Lynchian femme fatale sometimes makes for an odd persona, all First Lady waves and meticulously measured half-smiles. Even when exclaiming her delight at being back in Ireland, her face registers roughly the delight I managed on receipt of my last gas bill.

But from the moment she opens her mouth, things click. Her voice is, truly, a thing of wonder, sliding effortlessly from operatic trill to the treacle-thick drawl of a whiskey-drinking gangster’s moll. And I do mean effortlessly; Del Rey’s lung-busting heroics result in all the facial strain you or I would express in licking a stamp.

So unerring is her vocal performance that it’s hard to pick a standout from the night, whether the woozy, sinister pop of Lolita and High By The Beach, or the rich, anthemic darkness of Born to Die or Ultraviolence.

Del Rey even strips the meticulous overproduction back for an excellent solo guitar performance of Yayo, despite her fingers being numb from the fierce cold and driving rain that accompany the duration of her set.

And, for all her austere, untouchable trappings, it is into this rainy cold that she descends at the show’s climax, her band locked into an extended, proggy jam of Off To The Races, as she joins fans, regarding her like a benevolent deity as she poses for selfies and embraces them in turn.

To those not previously inducted into to the church of Del Rey, this is an intoxicating glimpse at the religious fervour she generates among her devotees, and goes some way toward explaining why this is the case. Her marmite mannerisms may be curious to some, but in her presence it’s hard not to feel the pull of her mysterious, and mysteriously beguiling, cult.