Last night, Amoeba on Sunset welcomed now superstar and 2012 pop cultural subject Lana Del Rey (or Landy, as we unaffectionately like to call her). We had bold and somewhat lofty ambitions of waltzing up to the 6PM show thirty minutes before, getting entry quite easily–but things were quite ill fated from the start. “Born To Die,” if you will.
First, it was a little rainy, which is fine, but it being a free show that had people waiting in line around the block of Ivar from Sunset to De Longpre did not make us enthused to see anything. Moreover, we were trekking to and from the show by bike–not in a raincoat. Nevertheless, we took in the line and the fans, assessing the situation. It was a very mixed bag, ranging from high school kids to older professionals to young gay boys to fashionable ladies to super, trying-really-hard-to-be-fashionable-and-be-seen people. Everyone stood in line, saying at least one time “Do you think we’re going to make it in?” The crowd grew as people passing by joined, half out of curiosity, half out of a desire to see how a free Landy concert would be (which is precisely why we wound up there in the first place).
“Her song ‘Video Games’? It’s just perfect,” a fan behind us said, followed by an insistance that the video for “Born To Die” was directed by some guy who simply goes by “Wood.” (When, really, it was Yoann Lemoine…but he did direct a video for Woodkid, though–maybe that’s who they meant?) We wanted to take some great photos and video of both the line and the performance but, alas, the next strike against our decision to see Landy: we had brought our camera with us–but no memory card.
Standing there, we started to notice details about the fans, fans that Landy knows recognize that she isn’t a show stopper, fans she still “takes out to dinner” to make her seem more personable. These details ranged from a group of three, older, trying to be fashionable (but were not) early thirties women who you could tell were there to ba part of a visual phenomena, there because they had nothing else to do. They all stood, compulsively checking Facebook on their Blackberries and smoking cigarettes. Another fan was a very alone young boy in a chunky cardigan and skinny jeans. He had a door knocker nose ring and stood, constantly holding a phone to his ear while not speaking to anyone. One woman had a Chihuahua in a fur lined coat, unaware that Landy by way of Amoeba didn’t give a shit about her pup. A figure draped in head to toe black, whose genderless face poked out from the top of a head sarong like a turtle, trudged between people, drawing looks from being at the wrong Cobrasnake event (even the teens were eying that). An older couple, both in florals, walked beyond us further and further back, picking up speed in their nervousness to get entry. Two guys in all bedazzled jeans, who kept talking about sports and that they “saw Lana enter from a limo,” walked away from their spot in line as we approached. I stood there in an oversized hoodie, furiously texting anyone who would text back, attempting to Tweet updates, headphones in my ears connected to nothing, holding a bicycle helmet in my hand. We definitely all looked like desperate jackasses.
“Can’t we stand on the ledge and look in the windows??” a fan yelled, jumping into the frame of the North Ivar window. Other fans echoed his idea as a security guard came to remove window squatters, yelling, “Go home, everyone and get out of the rain: we are at capacity.” No one seemed to listen, many dawdling into the street, some holding on to their spot in line. It was steadily raining as I darted to the front wishing to capture some exclusive glimpses. It all amounted to a lot of nothing besides people still wanting to get in. Employees yelled and hollered that there was no room and that they would reopen at 8PM–but no one listened: most people stuck in line and had faith that they, too, would be picked to glimpse Landy, Our Lady Of Victory From Public Embarrassment.
Maybe we are foolish for thinking that we’d be able to arrive late and still get into a Free LDR concert. Maybe she laughed the whole day leading up to the concert, mocking jackasses like us. Maybe she saw our three or four Tweets about her and the scene and spit a curse out like Queen Bavmorda from Willow. Who the fuck knows. What is known is that the joke is on us, her Complex magazine feature statement haunting us: “My fans are there because they want to hear the record live. Everyone else is just there to see what happens.”
I guess we’ll have to work harder if we want to hear Landy’s Korean-girl-who-just-learned-English, multiplied by a chipmunk version of Anna Nicole Smith, singing or bafflingly beautiful character drivel in person. We raise an apathetic X-Box 360 controller to you, Landy.