Laufey is the real deal already

Wang Theatre, Boston, May 8, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Only three years removed from college (and 1.5 miles away from the current venue), Laufey is a star.

She may not be a household name to all just yet - though she ought to be soon enough – the Icelandic/Chinese singer, who went to Berklee College of Music (and even graduated unlike many who attend) was the complete package at the second of two sold-out shows.

That would include singing, song, stage presence, musical dexterity, staging and, for sure, fan loyalty.

With the likes of Ella Fitzgerald as an influence, Laufey showcased herself to be an excellent singer. She's got a gorgeous, full, crystalline voice and sang with a tremendous amount of precision, immersing herself into the material. That was evident from the very start with the pretty, beautiful sounding "While You Were Sleeping" to the bossa nova of "From the Start" to close the set.

Jazz was the starting point of Laufey's musical journey. Pop is part of the sound as is classical music. At times, she was almost a singer/songwriter type. Occasionally, the music was punched up as well.

For Laufey, that material is pretty much of a downer when it comes to relationships. Laufey made it clear in comment and song that she had a few relationships that did not go so well.

Yet, despite the negative spin on relationships, at heart, Laufey was an upbeat, positive person with a sense of humor. She told the musicians in the house to hold onto their dreams and hopes as she never thought she would become this popular this quickly. Hers is a message and charge of stick-to-itiveness.

While seemingly thunderstruck by her success on the one hand, Laufey also was not overwhelmed by the moment either. This was a coming home concert for Laufey, and she made numerous references to Boston. She did not need to wear a Sox jersey as so many visiting artists do to prove her bona fides. She already had them in spades.

Laufey was personal and personable, talking about her not-so-long-ago youth before launching into the first encore song "Letter to My 13 Year Old Self," with added lyrics about winning a Grammy.

She was far more than only a singer also by playing piano, electric guitar and cello.

Whoever created the staging deserved a load of credit because it only added to the concert. When Laufey played piano, she did so on a round, wooden-like structure with different colored lights emanating from it.

The glittering lights at the rear of the stage had a star-like quality to them. This was simply a visually appealing show that meshed well with the artist. It also made for a choreographed show as well although Laufey did not seem like she was following the script in her comments.

Laufey was backed by a string section plus an electric group in a large half circle surrounding her. While there was a contrast between the two sounds, it worked.

At 25, Laufey presumably remains an artist still in development, but she is the real deal already.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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