They had waited too long.

The weeks had turned to months, then years. Some probably thought it would never happen. Others kept the faith, and their fingers crossed.

Finally, the moment was at hand. And these fans acted accordingly:

They roared.

The sound of pure joy, cranked up to approximately jet-engine volume, greeted Lana Del Rey as she finally took to the stage in San Francisco on Friday night. It was the torch singer's first official Bay Area gig, not including an appearance at a record store a few years back.

And she made it count.

The New York-based singer, who was on the West Coast to perform at Southern California's Coachella music festival, delivered a dizzying, hypnotic evening of music for the capacity crowd of 8,000 exuberant fans at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

For whatever reasons, Del Ray does not have an extensive history of performing live (she's probably best known in this regard for an awkward, much-criticized appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in 2012). But she did perform some 50 concerts last year and has embarked on a U.S. tour.

And if she suffers from stage fright or has problems performing on stage, it didn't show on Friday night. Del Rey sounded even better live than she does in the studio, which -- as anyone who has listened to 2012's masterful major-label debut "Born to Die" could tell you -- is no small feat. She seemed to be buoyed by the crowd, feeding on its energy and adoration and sending both back in kind.

"You've got me feeling it tonight, for sure," the 27-year-old singer said early on during the roughly 75-minute set.

Del Rey opened the show in sparkling fashion, appearing on a stage designed like some enchanted forest. She made her way through the twisted trees, wearing a lovely white dress that looked straight out of a Disney movie, and took her place among the four backing musicians to croon "Cola."

She sang, then the crowd sang louder, filling the auditorium like a balloon with mostly young, female voices. The chorus kept growing more audible throughout the night, peaking as Del Rey unleashed the platinum-certified singles "Young and Beautiful" and "Summertime Sadness."

The music was a cinematic, radio-friendly mix of chamber-pop, trip-hop and torch song. It was often elegant, occasionally fiery, but always deeply moving. The vocals were lush, pretty and routinely full of swagger. Comparisons to Portishead, Tori Amos and especially Sarah McLachlan all make sense.

Beyond the music, Del Rey did a great job connecting with the crowd. She spent much time touching hands, collecting presents and signing autographs. It wasn't shtick. She seemed to be enjoying every moment of it.

"I don't think we are going to forget this night anytime soon," Del Rey said to the crowd as the concert drew to a close.

It was obvious the feeling was mutual.

Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic and www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews.