1. You have a religious experience.
This was like going to the indie-pop Vatican. From the shrieking fans dancing and swaying like they were possessed by the music to Lana descending into the audience to the constant singing along, I felt like I was at some crazy pop cult gathering. I’ve been to pop concerts before, but NOTHING like this.
2. Lana sways around with her eyes closed a lot.
OK, so she didn’t do that infamous “dancing in a circle” routine you might remember from Saturday Night Live, but for most of the concert she delivered a fairly passive performance. It was kind of like BEING in one of her music videos, but at times, I kind of wished she was a little more intense. The audience lost their SHIT when she did a little bootie pop during “Body Electric.”
3. Lana sings live, and she is pretty good.
Her band sometimes overpowered her, and some tracks sounded better than others, but she definitely was singing live — which is like, pretty cool in 2014. I mean, she wasn’t exactly winded from crazy dance numbers (more on that later) so I guess it was to be expected, but it’s kind of nice hearing someone live without studio help and actually being impressed with their vocals.
4. Basically, you’ll be surprised by how good of a live performer Lana is, period.
#TBT to 2012, when Lana performed on SNL and was then lampooned by like, the entire United States of America. Flash forward to 2014: She’s a Tumblr darling, on speed-dial whenever someone needs a moody song for a film’s soundtrack, and performed at Kimye’s wedding. And now, too, she can add “solid live performer” to that list.
5. Lana goes down into the audience a few times.
Two or three times, Lana went down from the stage to interact with fans in the front row. Selfies were taken, autographs were signed, and at one time, a security guard had to physically separate a fan from the singer. It’s cool that she cares about her fans this much! Beware, back rows: While she’s down in the crowd, you will not be able to see her and will go through Lana withdrawal.
6. There’s only one dress.
This isn’t Miley, Katy, or Gaga theater. There are no super-elaborate sets, complicated dance numbers, or crazy costume changes. Lana wore the same dress the entire set. She was backed by a three- or four-piece band, but didn’t bring any backup dancers or vocalists.
7. You will be overwhelmed by how enthusiastic her fans are.
They screamed. They danced. They screamed and danced at the same time. They chanted her name, and they didn’t let up for an hour and a half. There were so many youths screaming “LANA!!!!” or “I LOVE YOU LANA!!!” during the concert, I wanted to be “that guy” and turn around and tell them to let the poor woman sing.
8. You will be blinded by the cell phones. So. Many. Damn. Cell. Phones.
9. And you will see TONS of floral crowns, because they’re *her thing.*
SO. MANY. FLORAL. CROWNS.
10. The audience will sing along a lot.
This crowd knew the words to EVERY DAMN SONG. And they sang along the ENTIRE TIME. Probably the coolest part was when everyone chanted “Fuck yeah” during “Gods & Monsters,” which is about Los Angeles. At one point, Lana said she was “glad you guys are on my level.” She couldn’t have been more right.
12. You will hear some new songs from Lana’s upcoming album, Ultraviolence.
She sang “West Coast” and the title track, a swingier song where Lana really came alive. The album doesn’t come out until June 16, but after hearing Ultraviolence live, I WANT IT NOW.
13. Lana will close the show with “National Anthem” and it will be amazing.
I was expecting the haunting “Young and Beautiful” to be the highlight of the show — after all, it IS Kim Kardashian’s favorite song, and the one Kanye hired an orchestra to play when he proposed to her — but “National Anthem” was the final track of the evening, and it was an otherworldly experience, to say the least.
14. You will be #blessed to be in the audience, because this is THE hot ticket in town.
The Shrine show sold out instantly. On Friday, I waited outside in line for about half an hour, and I overheard someone say they waited for 12 hours to get a front-row spot. And there were paparazzi waiting outside for famous attendees. This was THE place to be. Bravo, Lana. You’ve arrived.