Out of this year's Osheaga headliners, pop maven Lana Del Rey was the one expected to fail — not miserably, mind you, but maybe trip, miss a couple of high notes here and there, stare blankly at the crowd and forget her lyrics — to be underwhelming and forgettable, in general. None of that happened.
Instead, she rose to the occasion and hit every note, every cue, sending a wave of surprise over the cynical crowd as she belted out hit after hit like a true, unabashed pro. Taking to the stage amidst a cloud of smoke with the words 'Del Rey' floating in neon over her and her excellent backing band, Lana launched into "Cruel World" off Ultraviolence — clad in a yellow lace dress and peace sign earrings.
As she moved through hits like "Cola," "Blue Jeans" and "High By the Beach," evocative images of blooming flowers and black and white stills from her many music videos lit up the backdrop, the stage perfectly set up in line with the Lana Del Rey aesthetic.
Belting out an a cappella version of "Chelsea Hotel," per an audience request, she proved that even though her stage presence was still awkward, that owning up to it, and letting backup dancers take the lead, was the best option.
Heading out into the audience to take pictures and sign autographs for fans (some crying, some screaming with joy), it was clear that Lana the pop star has fully grown into her performative, headlining skin. "Off to the Races" finished off the evening, with fireworks bursting in the background.