Lauv is an LA based singer-songwriter on the rise from meagre beginnings. Starting out as an NYU student playing to empty bars, he has since toured with Ed Sheeran and his song “I Like Me Better” earned platinum certification in multiple countries. Following his debut album How I’m Feeling being released March 6th, Lauv’s upward trajectory can be seen best at the colorful bursts of community that are his live shows.
Before even entering the venue, fans can already get a sense of the type of positivity Lauv is all about. At his live shows, Lauv has what he calls “My Blue Thoughts”. They are blue telephone boxes where fans are encouraged to write down whatever they would like: feelings they have, thoughts they wish they could share, experiences they’ve gone through, and even just words of affirmation. Lauv aggregates them all on his blog, mybluethoughts.world, where his goal is to show how all of his fans across the world go through the same feelings and struggles.
The colorful words disappeared from the stage as the opening performer Bülow entered the stage. The German pop singer kicked off the night with lo-fi beats and soft-spoken vocals. With a bucket hat and a lot of energy, Bülow yelled to the crowd “Who’s ready to get stupid?” before jumping into her song “Get Stüpid” and ended her set with “Sweet Little Lies”, thanking the crowd and leaving them ready for more.
Between the purple chandeliers and the blue-lighted neon walls of the Fillmore, the pit was sold out and packed solid. When the lights went down, the screen on stage lit up with rainbow stars dancing to the introduction music. As the song came to an end, Lauv bounded onstage to begin the night with the anthemic “Drugs and the Internet” that got the crowd jumping to the heavy handed beat. Next, he hopped right into the lesser known “Paris in the Rain” featuring a simple rainy window as the lighting for his performance, perfectly complimenting the contented lyrics of the song.
One of the most heartfelt moments of the night was a prerecorded monologue before his performance of the song “Sad Forever”. In it, he detailed a period of his life where his anxiety, depression, and OCD overtook him. The song “Sad Forever” was written in the moments before he decided to receive help and details his worries about relying on medication in order to live a life where he isn’t sad forever. Before beginning the song, he stresses the importance of finding the right therapist, the right medication schedule, and interpersonal support systems to pull yourself out of a mental health crisis. He also advertised a text service which provided mental health first aid training during this monologue as well as before and after the concert itself.
After ending his set with his first hit, “The Other”, the audience immediately began chanting for just one more song. When Lauv re-entered, he gave the crowd two more songs and ended the night on his biggest hit “I Like Me Better” which made the crowd dance their way home and finished the night of emotional authenticity with an uplifting message. Lauv has successfully created a place for not only expressing his deepest emotional struggles, but a place where he can pull himself out of it as well. His performance was vibrant, lively, vulnerable, and centred around community first and foremost. Lauv is the future of emotional intelligent pop musicians we look forward to.