September 16, 2022
Laufey Laments Love at the House of Blues
Hana Tobias

On Tuesday night, Laufey graced the stage at the House of Blues Voodoo Room with an intimate set showcasing her first album, Everything I Know About Love. This was not a concert for people who want to mosh; on the contrary, concertgoers spent most of the time swaying slowly to the calm music. But that doesn’t equate a lack of passion from Laufey or her fans—the audience sang beautifully to each song, matching Laufey’s clear excitement to perform.

Chinese and Icelandic singer-songwriter Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, known professionally as Laufey, gained a following during the pandemic, during which she released her first EP, Typical of Me. The 23-year-old is now embarking on her first tour, with San Diego as the first stop. Alix Page opened the show, filling in for Matilda Mann, with a lovely acoustic set.

Despite her lack of touring experience, Laufey carried herself with an impressive maturity, remaining unfazed when sound issues arose. During the hour-long set, her bubbly persona continually shone through, charming the sold-out crowd. Before singing “James,” she called the song her “personal little diss track” with a cheeky smile. True to her jazz inspirations, she included some improvisational moments during the set; her nerves became apparent as she flubbed a few notes, but she brushed it off with a laugh.

As she floated through songs, I found myself captivated by her lovely voice. It’s uniquely smooth and low, and paired beautifully with her jazz- and classical-inspired style. The lilting melodies—accompanied by cello, violin, acoustic guitar, keys, and calm drums—were a perfect medium for discussing love. That’s what Laufey sang about: everything she knows about love. She opened the concert with “Fragile,” in which she lamented, “I’ve lost all sensibility.” For the rest of the night, she explored the ways in which love perpetuates that feeling.

One of the highlights of the night came in the song “Just Like Chet.” In it, she despairs of how she falls in love too easily, just like one of her biggest inspirations, Chet Baker. There’s a moment in the song when the music paused, as if to take a breath. In that moment, the entire room filled with a reverent silence, everyone entranced by the gorgeous music. No one dared make a sound, lest they break the reverie that hung over the room.

As the night came to an end, Laufey wrapped up her official set (although she would return for a quick encore) with “Falling Behind,” in which she worried that “everybody’s falling in love and I’m falling behind.” She may feel that way in regards to her love life, but Laufey’s performance found her jumping forward into what will no doubt be a marvelously successful tour.

See the full photo gallery from the night here.

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