Wednesday night was met with a buzzing colourful crowd of Lauv fans at Aucklands Shed 10. Upon entrance to the vene you were shown the passion the artist had to helping those with their mental health as the ‘Need to Talk?’ greeted you. With their service to 1737 free call or text any time for a free counselor, along with cards and posters being given out. This gave me the immediate feeling that Lauv cares about his fans and wants to ensure that everyone is cared for, not only at his concert but when they leave. The venue itself was packed with excited fans trying to get the best view. From the energy of the audience, even before the music started, you could tell it was going to be a good night. The passion filled the venue.
Opening the night was 19-year-old singer, Carlie Hanson. She jumped around on stage, each step full of passion. Dressed in a fully white outfit, confidence radiated from her presence. For a young singer she had a strong voice, belting the lyrics throughout her set. She shared the stage with her drummer and guitarist who were just as passionate in the music they played. Her talent was shown off further by her beat boxing in the middle of her set, sending the crowd to loud screams of excitement as she moved across the stage. She brought the high energy mood down for a song as she strummed along on her electric guitar whilst singing passionately. The highlight of her set was her song ‘When You’re Back in My Arms’ which she closed with; unknowingly that was her “big song” that I ended up knowing all the lyrics to and sung along.
As the lights went down the crowd screamed in anticipation. Coloured flashes of light begun; one colour to the next, the colours of the rainbow unfolding before our eyes. A sea of phones went up to record the memories to hold for a lifetime. Cues were flashing on the large screen behind the stage, to ‘dance’ and ‘love’ many factors that come into life and Lauv’s songwriting. This was a big part of the night ahead. Being reflective, accepting your feelings (good or bad) and enjoying the highs and lows that come with life. Onscreen the message ‘Welcome to how I’m feeling the land of friends’. It felt like note written with and comfort for each individual in Shed 10. The clapping and shouting for Lauv began as the excitement grew in anticipation for his arrival onstage. A violin backing track began after the audio/visual intro, while eyes darted around looking for Lauv. It was purposeful as you could feel the build up of hyped audience members growing. The slight impatience after counting down for months and weeks to be there and hear him live, after his last appearance in New Zealand a few years ago.
As he appeared onstage he stood in the middle of the stage looking out into the crowd, smiles were seen all around. Dressed in a comfy cardigan and jeans, with red hair he looked truly at home performing on the stage, and the crowd loved it. His vocals were flawless to say the least, somehow even better than perfect studio versions. ‘Drugs and the Internet‘ was the opening song as he sung you could feel the audiences passion for the lyrics in the volume in which they sung the lyrics back to him. Using every space of the stage he made every inch of the crowd feel adored. Easily the parts I loved the most was the ones he spent sitting on the stage and singing to the front rows. Despite being at the back and not being able to fully witness it you could tell the happiness it gave to those who were lucky enough to experience it was life changing. In honestly it is hard to think of highlights of his set as it all felt so good to reflect upon. The backing visuals were unforgettable as they brought an extra feeling and insight into how he wants the audience to perceive his storytelling, not just by listening but seeing it too. His voice has an impressive range that would flow from high to low with ease. Lauv is a must see live and with his adoring comments about Auckland and his love for his fans here I’m sure he’ll be back in no time with new songs, and stories to all that will listen.