Lana Del Rey makes music that’s drenched in nostalgia and in American iconography, and lately, she’s been especially drawn to the singer-songwriter music of the ’60s and ’70s. On her new album Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Del Rey namechecks people like the Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills & Nash. On her current West Coast tour, she’s been covering Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel. And last night in Berkeley, Del Rey sang a song with one of the queens of that era.
Joan Baez was an icon of the early-’60s Greenwich Village folk scene when she was still in her early twenties. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and headlined the first night of Woodstock. In the past few years, Baez has performed with Taylor Swift, entered the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and finished up a farewell tour. And last night, she joined Lana Del Rey onstage.
Immediately after Del Rey sang her Joni Mitchell cover at the Greek Theatre during her show last night, she introduced Baez, who came out with an acoustic guitar and said some very nice things about having dinner with her granddaughter and with Del Rey the night before. Then the two of them — over only Baez’s guitar, without Del Rey’s band — sang Baez’s classic 1975 song “Diamonds & Rust.” That song is itself nostalgic; Baez wrote it about remembering her time with Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village.
After they sang it, Del Rey gave her stage up to Baez entirely, and Baez sang a Dylan song: 1962’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” (That’s not a song about Baez, even if many of us spent years assuming it was.) Del Rey mentioned that she’d sung it with Baez a number of times that day, but onstage in front of everyone, Baez sang it solo. Watch a fan-made video of both songs below.
Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! tour comes to Sacramento tomorrow. Later this week, she’s coming to the Hollywood Bowl, and she’s said that she’s tried to get Don Henley to come out for that one.