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Live Review: Lauv @ Forum Melbourne

24 October 2023 | 3:05 pm | Michael Prebeg

Lauv is in complete control of his audience, knowing just how to bring up the energy to ignite a frenzy of dancing.


Lauv (Credit: Vince Aung)

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American singer-songwriter Matt Hansen channels a wide range of genres, from pop, rock and folk, as he unleashes his incredibly powerful voice and connects with the audience on an emotional and relatable level.

With only a few songs released to date, Hansen is a rising star that’s one to watch. His ability to captivate the audience with his heartfelt passion and storytelling comes out effortlessly through his deep, raw vocals and soulful melodies. 

He shares his latest release, CHEMICALS, packed with emotional build-up and anthemic choruses to make us feel compelled to sing along as soon as the lyrics catch on. Inspired by Coldplay, Hansen performs a cover of his favourite song (Fix You) from the band, and we light up the room with our phone torches for the iconic track.

A classical music piece plays over the speakers to introduce Lauv to the stage, emerging in a shimmering disco ball helmet. He removes the helmet and launches into his latest single, Love You Like That. The stage has a minimal setup without a band or flashy visuals, just a curtain backdrop and simple lighting, so there’s plenty of room for Lauv to move around freely, singing along to a backing track. The intimate show gives fans a chance to see Lauv shine under the spotlight, illuminating all his angles to experience every aspect of who he is as an artist. 

“Welcome to The Between Albums Tour!” he shouts to the crowd. Tonight is night one of two sold-out shows in Melbourne, and fans have been excitedly awaiting his return to Australia since 2019. Since then, he’s got a lot more new music to share with us.

Lauv grabs a guitar and uses a controller to mix in some electronic samples for Paranoid, and the theatre becomes filled with glitchy strobe lights and smoke effects. He tries something fun as we journey through the ages of his music for the next few songs as he performs a quick little mash-up of his hits Enemies, Kids Are Born Stars and Superhero. 

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He continues to power through his catalogue of chart-topping pop hits, showcasing his exceptional vocal range and diversity of sound with his emotional songs about loneliness and falling in love over and over again. Lauv is in complete control of his audience, knowing just how to bring up the energy to ignite a frenzy of dancing and then taking it down for some slower, heartfelt songs to get the crowd swaying along in harmony. 

Lauv tells us he’s feeling spicy tonight, and as he plays his catchy hit Tattoos Together, he jumps down into the front row of the crowd to draw a ‘glass of vibes’ on someone to be tattooed during the bridge.

He starts an Aussie chant, which then turns to the audience chanting back, calling for him to do a shoey. He vows that if anyone asks him to do a shoey, he’ll make them do it instead, so he decides to bring someone up on stage to do one with them. He holds up his boot, pours an entire can of Red Bull into it and skulls it. He puts his boot back on with a wet sock to keep going with a Molly In Mexico as laser lights stream down for the heavy-hitting track.

He grabs a fresh, dry sock before continuing with some stripped-back acoustic songs that showcases his beautiful falsetto with effortless intonation and ad-libs, beginning with guitar for the first song he ever released as Lauv (The Other). He then takes to the piano for two emotionally heartfelt ballads, Steal The Show and Breathe.

"I really feel that on this stage, I figure out who I am and literally couldn’t do this without you,” he reveals as he steps away from the piano and dives into the mosh pit to sing with fans up close and personal for Modern Loneliness.

Who, Feelings, and i’m so tired… lead him to an inevitable encore that sees Lauv return wearing one of his T-shirts fresh off the merch stand and an electric guitar for an audience singalong on Never Not and a huge dance party for I Like Me Better to finish.