CONCERT REVIEW: Lauv brings NYC talent and enthusiasm to the Little Apple

Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone

The dreary weather could not put a damper on the energy in the air at the Lauv concert at Bosco Plaza last night.

Taking the stage in a humble gray hoodie and dark jeans, Lauv, whose full name is Ari Staprans Leff, left students swooning with his stunning falsetto and vivacious stage presence.

I’ll have to admit, I had not heard of Lauv before I learned that he was going to be performing on campus. Although, like most people, I have heard his popular single “I Like Me Better” on the radio many times.

The crowd went wild when the first notes of this song reverberated through the plaza, a short teaser of the chorus before effortlessly transitioning into his weather appropriate song “Paris in the Rain.”

Lauv’s voice rang out warm and lush in the chilly night air. I was immediately blown away by his vocal talent. His live performance was almost indiscernible from how he sounds on the radio, which is a testament to his raw talent that doesn’t need any electronic embellishing to be absolutely gorgeous.

At first I was a bit critical of Lauv’s somewhat-lacking dance moves, flailing and bopping all over the stage. He was always in rhythm but lacked any discernible choreography. A short ways into the concert Lauv owned up to the audience about the reason behind his unique artistic choice.

He said when he started to gain a bit of fame he felt pressured to learn how to actually dance but decided instead to embrace his goofy dance moves like “the awkward white boy that I am.”

Lauv’s dancing was both relatable and charming. It was easy to see he was having a great time putting on his performance.

Much of Lauv’s music is inspired by his time living in New York City, the Big Apple. Consequently, he expressed great amusement for Manhattan’s affectionate nickname: the Little Apple.

“Singing songs about the Big Apple in the Little Apple, I like that,” Lauv said.

Lauv’s vocal talent was stunning on stage, but what won me over in the end was his unapologetic, down-to-earth dancing and his audience engagement.

He casually made a point of frequently coming down to the audience’s level to sit on the edge of the stage, and at one point accepting a pair of sunglasses from a crowd member.

Lauv performed at a relatively small, cold and damp venue with the same enthusiasm as I imagine he’d have at a place like Arrowhead Stadium. I recommend anyone who gets the chance to see him live to take it, as his talent extends far beyond the brief snapshot one hears on the radio.

Rebecca Vrbas is junior in journalism. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

My name is Rebecca Vrbas. I’m the culture editor at the Collegian and a junior in journalism and mass communications. My hobbies include obsessing over an ever-expanding pool of musicals and cats (not the musical). I love writing because of the infinite intricacy of language, as well as its power to cultivate a sense of community through sharing experiences.