The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Lana Del Rey closes out Lollapalooza 2023 with standout performance

Photo courtesy of Pooneh Ghana / Netflix
Lana Del Rey performs at the Bud Light stage to close out Lollapalooza on Sunday.

Lana Del Rey closed out Lollapalooza 2023 on Sunday night with a 90-minute show on the Bud Light stage. An enormous crowd of tens of thousands of people showed out to enjoy the elaborate set.

Similarly to other headliners at the festival, a group of fans were present at the barricade to see Del Rey hours before the singer was scheduled to perform.

Del Rey’s dedicated fans were requested multiple times throughout the day to back up from the barricade at the Bud Light stage in order to prevent packing the crowd too tightly. 

Safety proved to be an issue during the performance as multiple festival goers were removed from the crowd throughout the set by medical staff.

Del Rey’s 8:30p.m. set was delayed for several minutes for reasons currently unknown. However, the singer’s entrance did not disappoint, as a dramatic instrumental played while Del Rey’s silhouette appeared in front of an illuminated background.

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Dressed in all white with pink painted nails, Del Rey opened the set with her song “A&W” from her newest album “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.”

Fans were hooked on the performance right off the bat, with some in tears before the opener even ended.

Del Rey’s backup dancers and singers, dressed in all black, brought energy to the set by moving around the entirety of the stage during each song. 

Del Rey clearly made the stage her own, vaping between songs at the beginning of her set to screams from the crowd. The device was not seen again for the rest of the set.

Many of Del Rey’s songs contained carefully staged choreography. During “Bartender,” Del Rey sat while one of her dancers placed butterflies artfully in her hair.

The singer kept an impressively straight face throughout the performance while singing, barely cracking a smile but still delivering strong and smooth vocals.

 The performance was a full production, as it included an outfit change into blue dresses for the backup dancers and multiple set changes, such as two large swings descending from the ceiling.

Songs from the first half of the performance that received big crowd reactions included “Born to Die” and “Norman f—ing Rockwell.”

During “Ultraviolence,” one of Del Rey’s backup dancers took over the stage in a full dance solo. The singer eventually returned to the set, leaving the stage to visit the crowd.

“Thank you so much everyone in Chicago for showing up,” Del Rey said, greeting fans after the song ended.

Del Rey took a few minutes to say hello to fans, accept flowers from them and snap some pictures with crowd members. She even borrowed a fan’s pair of heart sunglasses.

The extremely muddy ground, caused by the rainy weather, gave Del Rey some difficulty returning to the stage.

“If I fall,” Del Rey said, “you just blame it on the mud.”

The final portion of the set included hits such as “Diet Mountain Dew,” “Summertime Sadness” and “Video Games.”

With ten minutes left in her set, Del Rey stated that she had two more songs prepared but would only have the time to perform one.

The artist closed her performance with “Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It.” 

The song concluded with Del Rey being dragged off of the stage by her backup dancers on a bed sheet. Screens surrounding the stage were filled with a black and white message reading “The End,” a fitting way to end the festival.

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About the Contributor
Maaike Niekerk
Maaike Niekerk, Arts & Entertainment Editor
My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
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