LAUV – The Forum, Melbourne

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Lauv at the Forum, Melbourne. Photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke.

Californian singer, song writer and record producer, Lauv, creates music that is just so damn catchy but also resonates with his audience on a number of levels. The main one being – unity. The “Land of Friends” was his welcome to the Melbourne crowd at the Forum Theatre, and it was just that. There was an air of happiness, positivity and warmth inside the sold out venue; a feeling of safety and inclusivity I hadn’t experienced at a live gig in a while. Even Lauv made mention of these appreciated good vibes, by thanking the audience for their “warm energy”. There was a lot of love in the room for the American performer, whose beautiful pop songs are more than just catchy beats; they hold a deeper meaning that touches people on a very personal level. Lauv writes honest lyrics that play a positive role in helping people identify themes of loneliness, depression, heartbreak, melancholy, love, relationships, and sexual orientation. His mastery is that he unifies these messages with tunes and melodies that attach to your brain and loop around your heart. Positive pop isn’t something new, but highlighting the emotional problems many younger people are experiencing and shining a light on mental health via this music medium is a very important tool for breaking down those barriers for a generation of lonely millennials.

Also making his music gigs a place of friendship, acceptance and inclusive behaviour is another beautiful tool of Lauv’s; bringing people together to interact, dance, sing and have a good time. As Lauv said hello to the front of the venue, he also said hello to the people at the back, and proposed we all “be one together tonight” and have a “good ass time full of good (and bad) dancing and bad jokes”.

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Lauv’s ‘How I’m Feeling Tour’ opened with Feelings followed by Drugs and the Internet, as the 25 year old performed with a backdrop of colourful graphics. He then talked us through the different personalities of Lauv (a series of ‘on brand’ stereotypes that make up their own boy band), ranging from Hopeless Romantic to F*ckboy, again highlighting that he isn’t any one thing that can be marketed.

The set list continued, as did Lauv’s impressive guitar changes, with Paris in the Rain, Sims, Easy Love, Superhero and an awesome high energy rendition of F*ck I’m Lonely. Lauv’s stunning vocals were on display throughout, as he sang I’m So Tired against a backdrop of neon lights with the crowd chanting every syllable back to him.

His signature white tank top (which coupled with Lauv’s short hair ‘do, makes him very reminiscent of Eminem circa 1998) came out for Chasing Fire (and the crowd went wild). Next he performed Enemies before laying himself bare with Sad Forever, which he introduced with an explanation of the creation of the song at a time when he was battling clinical depression.

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The crowd showed just how much love and respect they have for Lauv, as he commenced his stripped back For Now and Never Not to an audience that were literally holding their unified breath. It was completely silent as he sang with one microphone for both his vocals and guitar. Spine tingling stuff.

The tempo stepped up again with Getting over You and The Other, as Lauv finished off his spectacular set with I Like Me Better. This was one of those brilliant concerts that lifted your spirit, as you exit the venue doors lighter for having enjoyed such a stellar artist share his musical talents with a crowd of appreciative supporters. And what a collection of songs, each with their own merit and damn fine beats. We’re excited to see what’s next for the incredible Lauv.

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You can keep up to date with everything Lauv related by signing up to his mailing list here: https://lauvsongs.com

laraantonellileorke

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