Laufey: Bewitched: The Goddess Tour

The Masonic (San Francisco, CA)

Over the past few years, Laufey, the Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter and producer, has captured the attention of fans with her unique sound that spins her traditional jazz and classical background with contemporary pop themes and lyrics. Hot off the heels of a sold-out world tour last year and a Grammy win for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album with her sophomore album, Bewitched, she embarked on her sold-out “Bewitched: The Goddess Tour,” which included a three-night residency at The Masonic in San Francisco. The tour was scheduled around the release of the extended version of the album, Bewitched: The Goddess Edition, and showcases her mesmerizing single, “Goddess,” released to critical acclaim in March and an unreleased-at-the-time-of-the-show song, “Bored.”

Outside the concert hall, there was more to the Goddess tour experience – in addition to the usual merch table, her fan HQ, LaufeyLand, set up a photobooth with a setup similar to the tour poster photo. A long line of fans, A.K.A. Lauvers, waited their turn for a photo on a platform surrounded by blue curtains with a sign that read “The Goddess Tour” at the top which made for a unique memento for the night. Separately, Laufey also hosts a book club and community (The Laufey Book Club), and she partnered with Little Free Library to set up three “Little Laufey Libraries” to facilitate a book exchange among Lauvers to her show. The curved hallway of the Masonic was packed with fans, including a vast majority of girls opting to dress in the coquette style with bows in their hair and long dresses that complimented Laufey’s aesthetic, mingling and getting the most out of these extra details of the tour.

We were lucky enough to attend the first of the three nights in SF, and from the moment Laufey stepped onto the stage, she captivated everyone in the audience with her enchanting performance. The introduction with Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” transitioned to the riff from “While You Were Sleeping” from Bewitched backed by a talented ensemble of musicians, including a string quartet, Laufey’s sound was both expansive and intimate, filling the cavernous space of The Masonic throughout the evening. The fully-seated show in combination with the set design of a backdrop of curtains and fairy lights, vintage-style movie lights, a reflective stage floor, and a platform for a baby grand piano gave the show some old Hollywood theater energy. Laufey herself was dressed in a long lacy white dress and black mary janes, an elegant ensemble as she moved between guitars, cello, and piano. Through her lyrics, imagery, and stage presence, Laufey embodied the archetype of the goddess, just as she sings in “Goddess,” “I’m a goddess on stage, human when we’re alone,” commanding the stage with an ethereal presence that left a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to witness her performance.

Drifting between the multiple instruments she plays, Laufey performed 19 songs throughout the night, most of which coming from Bewitched but also a handful of songs off of her debut album, Everything I Know About Love, and one from her debut E.P., Typical Of Me. While she performed each song, including fan favorites like “Valentine” from Everything I Know About Love, the whimsical and catchy “Dreamer” from Bewitched, when Laufey was able to dance across the stage, and the more subdued slow piano ballad “Promise,” the enraptured seated audience sang along quietly, ensuring they could hear Laufey’s voice clearly. Laufey would also explain the meaning and inspiration before some songs – before performing “Goddess,” Laufey explained she was inspired to write the song after dating a boy who couldn’t differentiate between the persona she presented onstage and the person she is behind the scenes. Towards the end of the night, “Lovesick,” with the stage lights sweeping from floor up towards the ceiling during the chorus, led into the final song of the pre-encore set, the hugely popular “From The Start.” Laufey’s identical twin sister, Junia, joined her onstage to cover the scat section of the song on the violin, playing with her until the end. The audience absolutely loved seeing both of them on stage performing together, cheering loudly as Laufey left the stage and Junia finished the violin solo to conclude the song.

Throughout the night, Laufey’s music took center stage and her natural charisma shined through. While the main set ended at a peak, the emotional encore began when Laufey reappeared on stage to end the night with just her and her guitar, singing the sweet “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self.” As she sang the lyrics, “One day, you’ll be up on stage, little girls will scream your name,” the crowd collectively screamed for her. At the end of the touching performance, Laufey held her hands to her heart, looking fondly into the teary-eyed crowd, a lovely way to end the night.