Review: Lauv at Fortune Sound Club

Review: Lauv at Fortune Sound Club

A set time before 9pm and no liquor? Sounds like most concert goers’ worst nightmare. But for anyone in the crowd at Fortune Sound Club on Friday night, the fact they were about to see American wunderkind Lauv was enough to overlook the minor unpleasantries.

With the room filled with wall-to-wall overexcited teens and exuberant fan girls, it was evident that the up and coming indie singer/songwriter has gained much traction thanks to his soaring voice and penchant for killer songwriting.

With a songwriting background for other artists (Charli XCX’s summer smash “Boys”, Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato’s collaboration “No Promises”), the musician born Ari Leff already had the credentials on paper, and his own work has seen his status rise thanks to a heavy feature on streaming sites like Spotify and a major feature with EDM heavy hitter and tastemaker DJ Snake.

Fresh off an opening slot overseas for Ed Sheeran, Lauv came revved up with energy and creativity that he infused into his own tour. With no official album under his belt, it was unclear what direction he would take this show. Dubbing the tour “I Met You When I Was 18″, he carefully structured the set list compiled of all of his one off singles that he’s released since the beginning of his career.

The tracks were arranged in the sequential order that ultimately comprise a structured narrative reflecting his own four year relationship that has since ended. But, unlike a messy breakup, Lauv has churned all that emotion into some killer tunes, some of which are quite uplifting and upbeat.

Over the course of an hour and a half, Lauv performed the songs took the crowd on a chronological course of first love, starting with early butterflies (“Paris In The Rain”), moving into growing pains (“Question”), and, ultimately, the breakup (“Breathe”). Like an emotional rollercoaster, the set allowed the crowd into Lauv’s world, set to a backdrop of hip-hop and EDM beats, and allowing him to showcase his ability to move the crowd’s feet in dance and move them emotionally with his heartfelt lyrics.

One moment he was perched over the keyboard or wielding a guitar for a wild solo, the next he was ping-ponging back and forth across the stage to his DJ Snake collab “A Different Way”, inspiring the audience to shake their asses even at this ungodly early hour, stone cold sober. Now that’s impressive. His live singing not only met the standard he’s upheld on record, but surpassed it. His impressive falsetto gave goosebumps on several occasions, most notably on stripped down tracks like “The Story Never Ends”.

Two unreleased songs, “Getting Over You” and “Paranoid”, appeared throughout the set, and provided an insight to what the forthcoming debut LP will sound like. It’s only after hearing these songs that older tracks like “The Other” and “Adrenaline” sound a bit simplistic in comparison.

This being the first time Lauv has rolled through town, it was fun to hear the smattering of offerings, especially when it’s evident that by the time he returns, he will be playing bigger venues, and focusing on new music while the early fan favourites are left aside.

In terms of a realized vision, “I Met You When I Was 18″ is a cohesive insight into Lauv’s artistic journey. At the merch booth, a lit up acrylic box reading “My Blue Thoughts” stood out, and he explained it as an opportunity for fans to write “whatever comes to you in the moment”, and release secrets, memories, and wishes in the same vain that he’s done with his musical catalogue.

Throughout the show, he paused several times to humbly thank the crowd and appreciate the support. All artists do this, sure, but this time it seemed fully genuine. By the time he closed out with his big hit party jam “I Like Me Better”, the vibe between artist and audience was really sharing the lauv.