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Laufey bewitches Arizona fans in magical performance

The jazz and bossa nova artist took the stage at the Arizona Financial Theatre on Monday, April 15

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Singer Laufey performing during her “Bewitched: The Goddess Tour” at Arizona Financial Theater on Monday, Apr. 15, 2024, in Phoenix.

"Phoenix, I've loved you from the start."

Just a year and a half ago, Laufey was performing in front of a couple hundred fans at, as she said, the "hot and sweaty" Valley Bar in Phoenix. Now, she sold out and performed at what she described as her biggest show ever played on tour.

Laufey is an artist who dabbles in jazz and bossa nova to ballads akin to Adele and has proven she can do it all. Bringing these talents to Phoenix at the Arizona Financial Theatre on Monday, April 15, showcased her ability to cater to a college audience and left fans extremely satisfied.

The crowd during singer Laufey's “Bewitched: The Goddess Tour” at Arizona Financial Theater on Monday, Apr. 15, 2024, in Phoenix.

Blocks away from the venue, shades of coquette, classy, floral and even fairy-like outfits dotted the streets of downtown.

Fashion isn't the only thing Laufey inspires from local fans. Her music's magical, intimate aesthetics combined with captivatingly honest songwriting are a driving force behind her recent spike in popularity. 

"The lyrics in the songs describe a lot of young adult feelings and insecurities," George Barrera, who's been a Laufey fan for over two years, said. "It sounded like it was straight out of a recording studio because of how much vocal ability she has."

Accompanied by a live orchestral ensemble, Laufey also brought her jazz and classical backing tracks to life. The setlist's ebbs and flows were cozy and groovy, and it took the audience on an emotional roller coaster over its 19-song runtime. The starry set direction and lighting truly set the stage perfectly for each track as well. 

Singer Laufey performing during her “Bewitched: The Goddess Tour” at Arizona Financial Theater on Monday, Apr. 15, 2024, in Phoenix.

The music was serene, and the performances were colorful, but the star of the show was Laufey herself and her charming stage presence. She frolicked around the stage, played a variety of instruments, and, of course, sang her heart out with incredible vocal range. The crowd hung on to every word she said in and out of singing, cheering and crying during the entire concert. 

"I really enjoyed how she brought the orchestra with her," Michael Rejo, a junior studying computer science, said. "She did an instrumental solo at the end of some of the songs, which was unique."

It hasn't always been a major sold-out venue, though. TikTok specifically has been key to Laufey's rise to fame, with songs like "Falling Behind" and "From The Start" gaining massive traction. 

Callaway Renio, known as @laufeytok on TikTok, even received free tickets from Laufey's team because of the posts on his fan account. 

"I just really love her style of music, the jazz-pop, and I love how in touch she is with her community," Renio said. "She's been blowing up a lot more, and her songs have been going a lot more viral. Because of social media, she's getting the attention and respect she deserves."

The clear highlight of the show was Laufey's performance of her most recent single, "Goddess." An indescribable experience filled with grandiose musical highs and intimate, emotional lows, "Goddess" was a shattering performance that left the venue awestruck.

After an energetic finale and then a tear-jerking encore, there seemed to be no complaints from the sea of fans. 

"Laufey's performance was electric. I love her stage presence," Francisco Duarte, a local Laufey fan, said. "She needs to be way more famous. She needs to be on a Mitski level."

Not all fans want Laufey's growth to continue this exponentially, though.

"She should be more popular, but I kind of hope she doesn't get more popular so I can still afford concert tickets," said Sophia Preciado, who attended with Renio.

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But there's no question that Laufey's gentleness commands attention, and her rise happened for a reason. Phoenix fans may have to take a walk over to Footprint Center next time.

Edited by Sophia Braccio, Walker Smith and Caera Learmonth.

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