Words by Addy Walter

Hammerstein Ballroom was filled with energy and anticipation on the evening on August 26th, as people awaited the moment pop singer/songwriter, Lauv hit the stage. The venue has high ceilings that makes for great lighting, with a large floor in front of the stage and seating on the upper level that wraps around the whole venue. 

The show began with the up and coming artist, David Kushner, performing with Michael Humphries. The two played guitar and keys, respectively, and spoke to the crowd in a humble, welcoming way – explaining the meaning of a handful of their songs. Kushner performed a deeply personal song about his grandmother suffering from Alzheimers that touched the hearts of the crowd looking back at him. The soul he puts into his music will get him far – I’m excited to see what the future has to hold for Kushner and Humphries. 

Hayley Kiyoko was up next and amped up the crowd with her setlist of hits like “Demons,” “Sugar at the “Bottom,” and “Girls Like Girls.” She has a special type of magic when she performs – another artist that you can tell truly enjoys her work and her music. She jumped around the stage with so much energy that night, and her guitarist had solo moments with incredible riffs that gave me goosebumps – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. 

When it came time for Lauv to perform, the crowd had grown and gradually began inching towards the front. The lights went low and a whole crowd whipped out their phones to try to capture the moment he arrived. Lauv opened with his song “26” and immediately energized the crowd. Two girls in front of me had arranged their phone on the floor to record the two of them dancing to his music, which was quickly knocked over after he instructed the crowd to jump along with him to his song “Kids Are Born Stars” – I could feel the vibrations beneath my feet. He changed tune and had everyone harmonizing to his song “Paris in the Rain” – its no question that he had a crowd full of true fans that night.

Lauv played a lengthy, yet captivating setlist of almost 25 songs and kept his fans hooked the whole way. To be honest, I hadn’t heard much of Lauv’s music before coming to this show, but I can safely say this performance and the way he moved the crowd made me a believer.

Hayley Kiyoko