Live Review: Laufey’s Dreamy Tour Makes a Memorable Stop in Nashville

Very seldom have we seen a longer line waiting to get into the Ryman Auditorium than the one winding around the adjacent streets on Tuesday night (April 23). The emphatic crowd was waiting with bated breath to get into the famed venue to see Laufey–an Icelandic singer who evokes the magic of crooners from a time gone by. Given that there are assigned seats at the Ryman, it makes the fervor all the more impressive. They just couldn’t wait to be in her presence.

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The Nashville stop on Laufey‘s The Goddess Tour doubled as a birthday celebration for her and her twin sister, Junia. Naturally, it made the fans attending this particular show all the more excited–if that’s even possible. Despite it being her birthday, it was Laufey who was dishing out gifts to the crowd. From a pitch-perfect performance, to surprise duets and a new song, Laufey delivered a more than memorable show at The Mother Church.

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This tour is in support of Laufey’s Goddess Edition of her acclaimed album, Bewitched. The album is full of hypnotizing ballads that borrow elements from jazz standards. Her classic music training adds a layer of authenticity to what could be a pastiche. Though maybe old-fashioned in some respects, Laufey’s music feels innate. We can’t imagine her in any other space.

Laufey played through a significant portion of the record at the Ryman, alongside some older cuts. Though we walked away with many thoughts about the singer, the consensus is that she couldn’t hit a bum note if she tried. Few performers in the modern pop scene can boast the vocal control that Laufey has. It added to the dream-like quality of her live show. It was essentially perfect, which today feels almost impossible to come by.

Among her “surprises” for the night was a duet with a Nashville-based singer that inspired her growing up. As she noted during the show, there were many possibilities. In the end, it was somewhat of an unsuspected selection: Colbie Caillat. The pair sang Caillat’s name-making hit “Bubbly.” Though truly a surprise–we’d likely not have ever guessed it–it was a welcomed one.

Elsewhere, Laufey debuted a new song that she teased would be coming out in the next week. It maintained her titular style of heartbreak odes that lessen the wound by way of stunning vocals. We venture to guess it will continue her string of acclaimed releases.

A standout from the night was her performance of “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self.” The softies in the audience didn’t stand a chance when looking around at the tear-filled eyes of young women holding hands with each other or, at times, their mothers, absorbing Laufey’s mantra of self-acceptance. It felt like the onus behind the song had come to life. One day, you’ll be up on stage / Little girls will scream your name, she sings in the second verse of the song. And they certainly did.

Of course, she couldn’t play a show in Tennessee without dishing out a country cover. Moreover, she couldn’t have picked a more apt song to do a rendition of. “The Tennessee Waltz” is the perfect middle ground between Laufey’s easy-listening style and Nashville’s country tradition.

Laufey has skyrocketed to fame over the last year, despite gunning for her dream for quite a while before that. It warms the heart to see someone with an irrefutable talent earn success. After leaving Laufey’s Ryman show, all felt right in the world.

(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

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