Gig Review: Lauv | Melbourne | 16.3.18

Monday, March 19, 2018

Curving around the sidestreet of Melbourne’s iconic Corner Hotel in Richmond under the evening twilight was a sight filled with young hearts, friendship and excited energy that was unshy with eagerness. The commitment was visible from 10am for an intimate show that sold out last year; perhaps levelling the same rush of anticipation felt by 23-year-old Lauv (whose real name is Ari Staprans Leff) as he landed in Australia for the very first time earlier this week as part of his first headlining world tour.

The evening began with a memorable support set from local singer-songwriter Lakyn.  Following was an energetic and sassy performance by Nicole Millar — 'High', her collaboration with Peking Duk, was a definite crowd pleaser.

Keeping it casual in jeans and monochrome with his signature 'V' logo emblazoned on the back of a white jacket, Lauv opened the set on the keys with a stripped back teaser of his worldwide chart-topping tune 'I Like Me Better', which he would also revisit later. For 'Paris In The Rain', he dismissed bad luck superstitions and put up his white umbrella for an ode to freedom found in young love.

Jacket off, breaking a sweat and having already won over the crowd, he then performed his dramatic percussion influenced track 'Paranoid'.

The intimacy of the room momentarily transformed to a Friday club night with 'A Different Way'. Lauv had everyone jumping with his collaboration with Parisian producer DJ Snake — lifting the room with his unwaveringly contagious energy levels. Also impressing with a display of freestyle footwork and dance moves that he channelled across the stage.

Directing eye contact to awe-struck fans during heartfelt songs like 'The Story Never Ends' and the ever-so poignant 'Come Back Home', the crowd evidently were abundant with flutters. Lauv even felt compelled to point out his gratitude for the smiling faces, despite singing sad songs.

Conducive to a theme of self-actualisation, Lauv also briefly touched upon mental health and the pressures in society to be filtered at risk of being judged — inviting those in the room to later scrawl anonymous existential thoughts on a piece of paper, which he would then ceremoniously take and capture in a photo. The idea being that thoughts should exist rather than control or define us.

After hitting stunning high notes during 'Adrenaline', as well as the crowd requesting to sing the chorus of 'Getting Over You', the unapologetic chants of “one more song” echoed throughout the room before the show closed with an encore.

I don’t anticipate Lauv playing intimate venues anywhere in the world for much longer. Having just gone triple platinum in Australia with 'I Like Me Better', this was a special moment — one filled with ‘so much Lauv’ as the fans would say.

Written by Amelia Stott (@ameliaoceangirl)

(Photo by Jennica Mae)

You can find Lauv online below: