Tue 17 Apr 2018

Review… Lauv at The Deaf Institute, Manchester



+ Jeremy Zucker
@ The Deaf Institute, Manchester

Tonight, American R&B/dance/electro singer-songwriter, Lauv, begins the UK leg of his ‘I Met You When I Was 18’ world tour. Playing only two shows in the UK (one in Manchester and one in London), Lauv is also experiencing his first time playing to UK audiences. At only 23, he’s had incredible success as a musician already, with song ‘I Like Me Better’ charting all over the world and being certified 3x Platinum in Australia. He has also supported Ed Sheeran during the Asia part of his ‘Divide’ Tour in 2017, which brought him to gain more attention in the eyes of the music industry ever since.

Doing his own vocal samples and mixing live, Jeremy Zucker is just a one-man support act tonight. He has a lot of loyal fans out with him and fills Deaf Institute with loads of easy listening, dance-pop tracks. His songs are very much a mainstream sound- the stripped back, sample filled electronic music with his polished yet effortless vocals is something very high in demand at the moment. ‘Weakness’ packs a punch, despite being a slower, more sombre song, it stands out from the set. The entire time, the crowd sings along. Blue lights on the disco ball illuminate the room and so far it is one of the most enjoyable support acts I’ve seen. Jeremy has delivered an amazing performance and hasn’t stepped down his game just because he’s the support act. He’s done everything he can to make the entire night amazing for himself and the crowd. Ending with track ‘Talk Is Overrated’, which hip hop artist Blackbear featured on, is the perfect way to round up his set, sending the crowd into a bustling anticipation for Lauv.

Opening with a segment of ‘I Like Me Better’, Lauv pulls the crowd in immediately. That’s what you should do as an artist- hook the crowd into your set with one you’re sure they’ll know. There’s so much energy in tonight’s gig, from both the crowd and Lauv, who dances and spins around the stage, holding onto the microphone almost like a prop. ‘Comfortable’ combines ambient R&B pop with elements of slow jazz, something which suites his voice beautifully. It would be interesting for him to do an entire jazz album. New song ‘Paranoid’ (no, not a Black Sabbath cover) has such a cool instrumentation that makes it seem like you’re listening to a musical interpretation of its meaning.

 ‘This is definitely the most intimate night of the tour’, says Lauv, ‘and I want to make it the weirdest night of the tour’.

 ‘A Different Way’, the track Lauv made with DJ Snake, is so good and so catchy. It sounds brilliant with a live band as well, instead of having it played straight through mixing decks. Lauv is delivering an arena standard performance tonight, which makes it even more special for the audience in Deaf Institute. In return, the crowd is showing so much love and support, throwing themselves into each song, along with Lauv. The production that has gone into the gig has been thought out so well, from the special stage design including a tall structure of Lauv’s logo, to the way all the music sounds so perfectly balanced.

 ‘Manchester can I get down with you guys tonight?’ asks Lauv during ‘Adrenaline’, before immersing himself in a sea of overjoyed fans. It must be such an overwhelming feeling to come to another country and see this much support for you.

 The entire gig tonight has been such a joy to watch and review. The music has been incredible and it’s great to see when artists are so connected to their fans. Well, without fans their career wouldn’t be happening. Expect great things from Lauv; with two E.P’s already out in the world, from the standard of his songwriting that I’ve seen tonight, I hope he releases a full length album at some point and continues to have amazing success.

WORDS: Victoria Hicks

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