You may (or may not) remember I saw Ms. Lana Del Rey at her only show in NYC this past Winter. Since then, her young career has been an absolute whirlwind of controversy. Last night she returned to NYC and I wanted to check out her progression. Click below for my thoughts and a video:

When I last saw Lana Del Rey in NYC, it was December of 2011 when her album was still non-existent. I went in to the performance having been mesmerized by “Video Games” like the rest of the internet – but the content wasn’t really there except a number of previously leaked songs via YouTube.

Her 2011 performance was a unique experience: She was visibly nervous, had awkward stage presence and her singing wasn’t anything jaw-dropping. HOWEVER, I looked past all of that and recognized that there was raw, live talent in her vocals. It was a short set, but it left me fascinated with the songstress.

I don’t think I need to shed any more light on the amount of controversy her career/live TV performances/etc  brought about. Long story short, she hasn’t performed any live shows in the U.S. (that were open to the general public, as far as I know) since December.

Fast forward and FINALLY she announced a set of three shows in LA and three shows in NYC – so you know I had to be there to check up on her.

After NOT waiting in line all day long (she went on at 10pm and people had been waiting there since the early afternoon), I was back in the presence of the mysterious figure. With a simple stage setup that consisted of some shrubbery and instruments, she opened with “Blue Jeans.”

I feel like she has definitely stepped up her vocals from last December. She debuted “Summertime Sadness” for the first time back in the December show and it captured my ears yet again last night – my favorite song from Born to Die.

As far as her presence – nothing has really changed. She swayed back and forth, occasionally reaching out to the crowd. She closes her eyes to get her zone and still sticks her tongue out once in a while with a smile. A singing paradox. Cute but dark. Open, yet mysterious.

I was happy she performed her new song, “Body Electric,” during her set. It’s that patented LDR dark, luscious sound. I can’t wait to hear a CD-Quality version of it.

For now, check out my video below. Please excuse the camera movement. I was trying to maneuver my way around a sea of other camera phones (and I wasn’t really close to the stage). Check it out (sorry, no pictures – went there for pleasure last night…not to really cover it like I usually do):

For a different take on the performance, check Crystal Bell’s over at the Huffington Post.