Fans of Lauv (Lauvers if you will) in Thailand didn't have to wait too long for his return to Bangkok. 'Lauv: The Between Albums Tour', his fourth performance in Thailand, took place last Saturday at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC), less than a year after his third show, which took place last November as part of Very Festival.
From opening for Ed Sheeran’s Asia tour back in 2017, his journey as an artist has gone from strength to strength. Since breaking into the music scene with I Like Me Better, which currently tallies 1.6 billion streams on Spotify, The American singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist has penned many hits for himself and other artists, scored memorable collabs with South Korean boyband BTS, pop duo Lany and Aussie singer Troye Sivan, all the while candidly sharing his mental health journey and personal evolution through his Instagram and TikTok.
Around 8,000 Lauvers packed four halls at QSNCC. Up-and-comer Alexander 23, whose real name is Alexander Glantz, warmed the crowd up with an acoustic set, playing IDK You Yet and a cover of Bille Eilish’s What Was I Made For?.
The lights were off before a brief video intro was played to the tune of ambient music and bird chirping, sending fans into a screaming frenzy, before Lauv kicked off the night with Love U Like That, bringing out the big guns from the get-go. The crowd sang along to his latest single enthusiastically while the song’s message of allowing oneself to love freely without judging oneself filled the air with such a celebratory vibe. An apt beginning given the fact that he recently shared in a YouTube video, among other things, that he, basically, plays for both teams.
He followed it up with Paris In The Rain, one of his best-known hits, which was inspired by — in his own words — ‘sappy ass movie’ Midnight In Paris. He had the crowd waving their hands as they vibed with the dreamy and romantic song. He then did a 180 with moodier Paranoid, which is about being insecure in a relationship.
Lauv then greeted the crowd for the first time and pulled a fast one by playing an intro of I’m So Tired…, only to abruptly end it and giggle about it. He shifted into an upbeat mood with Chasing Fire, which was followed by a shortened version of Kids Are Born Stars before having everyone clapping their hands to Superhero.
Another short video intro preceded the next session dedicated to all of his hits from How I’m Feeling, Lauv’s debut studio album. He performed Drugs & The Internet, Lonely Eyes, Mean It, F**k I’m Lonely before capping it off on a joyous note with Tattoo Together. Mean It, his collaboration with pop duo Lany, in particular, sent fans screaming the loudest and had them singing along to every word.
At one point, he joked about performing among the crowd before the night’s biggest surprise came when he popped up at the control booth in the middle of the venue to perform Summer Nights, Molly In Mexico and All 4 Nothing (I’m So In Love), all of which are from his sophomore album All 4 Nothing. The lucky fans (me included) at first were so obsessed with capturing the special moment that it felt a bit awkward to watch him performing Summer Nights, his most club-friendly song to date, his heart out while we were standing there, videoing him. During this surprise session, he also walked around the fence and got close to fans, causing screaming frenzies.
He returned to the stage to give the crowd a breather with a stripped-down acoustic performance with Breathe, a synth-pop break-up ballad, and Steal The Show, an original song he did for Pixar’s Elemental, on a piano. The former showcased his best vocal and emotive moments of the night, even though he paused mid-performance to joke about how sweat got into his eyes, and managed to captivate the crowd for the rest of the song. This reminded me of when he got distracted by a frog ribbit but managed to pull off a heartfelt performance of Hey Ari at his previous concert in Bangkok. The latter was beautifully rendered into a more sombre version of it, which I prefer over its original pop vibe.
The mood shifted into high gear with Modern Loneliness, I’m So Tired…, Who and Feelings. I’m So Tired…, his collab song with Troye Sivan, had the crowd, again, singing along to every word before he seemingly capped off the concert with Feelings.
He returned to the stage for an encore with a guitar in hand to properly send fans off with Never Not and I Like Me Better. The latter was definitely a perfect choice as the feel-good song was accompanied by a background video displaying positive messages (e.g. “love is my answer”, “I am beautiful” and so on) and a joking end credit. “lauv = love” was shown on the screen as Lauv bid farewell for real. A simple, impactful and possibly healing ending for the fans. A mention must be made for the impressive lighting design and background videos, which played a supporting role in Lauv’s performance throughout the night.
Lauv delivered a wholehearted performance throughout the night’s 20-plus setlist, leaving the audience high-spirited. His humour, vulnerability and spontaneity were the icing on the cake, making his show, which filled four halls of QSNCC, felt intimate somehow.