Lana Del Rey & Billie Eilish Kick off Coachella Weekend One

Lana Del Rey wowed the capacity crowd at Coachella's 2024 kick off last night in Indio with some old favorites, some old friends, a hologram, and a dreamy 20-song set.

But first she made an entrance that won't be forgotten any time soon.

As a recording of her unreleased "Jealous Girl" flowed out of the polo ground PAs followed by Kehlani's "Gangsta," Del Rey, perched on the back of black motorcycle slowly driven by one of those older daddies she loves to croon about stood up and waved at the adoring crowd.

Lana's headlining gig at Coachella 2024 was a set to remember

It was all so reminiscent of "Yayo" from her 2012 EP debut, Paradise:

Put me onto your black motorcycle
Fifties baby doll dress for my 'I do"
It only takes two hours to Nevada
I wear your sparkle
You call me your mama

Many in the crowd called out to her, "Mother" as she and her procession of dancers, also on the back of the bikes made their way through the 100k throng and onto the stage.

Keeping with the old school vibes, Lana began the languid 90-minute set with a pair of songs that haven't been sung in years, starting with "Without You," from 2012's Born to Die: Paradise Edition, the 38 year-old chartreuse asked, "Pretty cameras, pretty cameras/ Am I glamorous/ tell me, am I glamorous?"

The nerve of asking such a question in that shimmering blue dress revealing a recently slimmed-down silhouette. Yes, Queen! Also imagine the confidence of sporting the same costume and color as the younger dancers who surrounded her, writhing, mouthing the choruses.

She is one of them? They are us? We are all one? Maybe just for the night.

"Without You" hadn't been performed for nearly 10 full years.

It was followed up with "West Coast" which she hadn't sung in nearly 5 years.

Before you say, "oh well she had to do 'West Coast' at Coachella" -- look at that setlist: she didn't play "Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind" which is literally about Coachella.

Lana does what Lana wants.

For example, Lana loves Sublime. Once on a KROQ interview she said just looking at the title of the cover of "Doin' Time" in her setlist makes it look cool - and not just because it mentions her beloved Long Beach (of which, apparently has tunnels underneath one of its main drags?")

So then why not do a duet with Bradley Nowell's son Jakob, who has been singing in his dad's band, Sublime alongside his godfathers, Bud Gough and Eric Wilson? The re-tooled Sublime was in Indio last night as they play tonight.

The answer is obvious: Lana does what Lana wants.

She is the sad girl. Last night she also seemed nervous and timid and stiff and pentive.

Mother arrived on a chariot as #Lanachella was trending on Twitter. The YouTube stream chat next to the simulcast was unreadable with hearts and messages of love pouring by the dozens per second. Yet at times it felt like she would rather be anywhere else than on that stage with her sassy, glittery boots talk/singing, rarely belting out her delicious lyrics.

There were exceptions, starting with the impossibly cool Jon Batiste.

“Sometimes you just need somebody else’s spirit to move with you, and that is always gonna be Jon Batiste,” she said introducing him.

Stephen Colbert's band leader and prodigy sat at the piano which Lana climbed to the screams of the delighted.

As he tickled the ivories she sang the exquisite "Candy Necklaces" with the oomph we knew was in her. She seemed so much more at home stretched out on top of his piano and later on a stripper pole than she did anywhere else on stage that night, be it on the catwalk, or balconies of the romantic backdrop.

The pair were honored with a Grammy nom this year for "Candy Necklaces" in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. The trophy went to the SZA + Phoebe Bridgers collab of "Ghost in the Machine."

Did voters feel Batiste had received enough flowers when he was awarded Album of the Year in 2021 for We Are?

After a twirl on the pole, Lana sat down next to Jon on his stool and they improvised in a way we hope leads to more and more soulful tunes best sung after dark.

The highlight of the set, the night, and maybe even their year, so far, was when Billie Eilish appeared high atop one of those balcony sets and hugged her longtime idol and now-friend.

After a warm embrace, the pair giggled at the situation where two of the biggest Coachella faves anticipated what they knew would blow minds and melt hearts.

When Eilish received an ovation after being introduced she pointed to Del Rey and said “this is the reason for half you bitches’ existence — including mine!”

Lana shot from the wings – By Billie Eilish

In the past Eilish has heaped praise on the singer. At a different outdoor festival, Eilish took a photo of Del Rey and captioned it, "the one who created us all." Watching her fawn over LDR last night - she just may believe it.

As sorta predicted earlier this week, Del Rey set aside her voluminous catalogue and did a duet of Eilish's "Ocean Eyes," beautifully.

Afterwards Del Rey beamed to the crowd and said of the 22 year-old singer: “That's the voice of our generation, the voice of your generation. I'm so fucking grateful she's standing next to me right now, singing my favorite song of hers.”

And to everyone's surprise, Billie did not leave. Lana did not leave.

Instead they did the best thing ever by singing another song.

This time it was the anti-love song/break-up tune "Video Games," Del Rey said she recorded in a lower register because she thought critics weren't taking her seriously when she sang naturally.

It's a register Eilish thrives in and together the pair smiled at each other because it was just way too adorable and awkward from its... steaminess?

"Get the fuck out of my face," Billie joked, blushing.

As predicted there was no Taylor Swift so no "Snow on the Beach" duet, but there was a mutual pal who got on stage, their producer Jack Antonoff who played the piano as Lana's hologram sang.

It was the least interesting part of the night.

Why deliver us the digital substitute when the real thing is right there?

When it was all over Lana hopped back onto the motorcycle, waved at the crowd, leaned back to soak it all in, and she was gone.

Lana returns to Coachella next Friday, 4/19. Weekend two passes are still available. Will Taylor jump on stage with her then?

Her only other US date in the books is or the Hangout Festival in Alabama in May.

Then she jets to Europe for six festivals and that's it. No tour has been announced. So get your tickets on her website if you're lucky enough to live near where she will be.

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