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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Laufey’s Bewitched Tour was a dazzling night to remember

Maylee Ohlman
A snapshot of Laufey performing in Thalia Hall on October 21, 2023.

After standing almost motionless outside in the bitter Chicago air for two hours, I was more than ready to get inside and watch a concert I had been anxiously anticipating for nearly six months.

Laufey (pronounced lay-vay)—an exceptionally popular jazz singer who first gained admiration on social media—was playing two nights in the South Side of Chicago in a historic venue known as Thalia Hall. I, along with many other young jazz enthusiasts, scrambled for tickets when Laufey initially announced her North America tour in May. 

As I finally stepped into the warm concert hall, I was reminded of the joyous moment I secured tickets. Thinking about this sentiment, I genuinely almost got teary-eyed with excitement. 

That excitement reached a resounding peak when the security guard scanned my tickets; then, after taking a deep breath, I walked into the hall. 

The steadily expanding crowd was flocking around the numerous photo opportunities, the merchandise stand, and the front of the stage, clamoring to hopefully catch the best view of Laufey. 

Quickly moving to stand in the merchandise line (I am a sucker for stylish merch), a smile spread across my face as I watched two young girls skipping hand-in-hand, beginning to squeal when they caught sight of the stage and Laufey’s cello.

I couldn’t help but feel that it was about to be a bewitching night. 

Around 8:30, the lights dimmed to a dramatic low, and Laufey strolled onto the stage, kindly waving to the crowd. Wearing a sparkly silver skirt and carrying one of her signature guitars, I felt simply starstruck. Every phone in the audience immediately whipped out as each fan began screaming and clapping passionately. Laufey shared a soft smile as she opened her mouth and began crooning the lyrics to “Fragile,” a song from her debut album, Everything I Know About Love.

On a much lighter note, the next single in the lineup was “Dreamer,” a personal favorite of mine. The song gives off the vibes of an antique Disney movie, complete with 2D animation and heroic princesses.

She then progressed to one of her most popular songs, “Valentine,” the lead single from Everything I Know About Love. She released the song on Valentine’s Day 2022, which began to gain traction and soon became a sensation across the internet. She sings melodiously, “I’ve rejected affection for years and years / Now I have it, and da*n it it’s kind of weird.” After the first verse, she teasingly paused singing, leaving the audience to linger on the next word. Joyous laughter rang throughout the crowd as we all realized her intention. 

Stopping the theme of EIKAL momentarily, the headlights flashed a brilliant crimson as she transitioned into the first song from her new album Bewitched, called “Second Best.” This song is a melancholy hymn devoted to a previous lover, saying that she gave him everything, but yet, she was his second best. She sings the words with dejection, how she won’t be enough for him. “I’ll always regret how I couldn’t ever tell / That you walked a little faster, left me behind / Kissed me with somebody else in mind.”

On a much lighter note, the next single in the lineup was “Dreamer,” a personal favorite of mine. The song gives off the vibes of an antique Disney movie, complete with 2D animation and heroic princesses. It is simply jazz mixed with modern at its best, with upbeat rhythm and cheeky lyrics, such as “And no boy’s gonna be so smart as to / Try and pierce my porcelain heart / No boy’s going to kill the dreamer in me.”

Following “Dreamer” came the most prevalent number of any of Laufey’s songs currently, “Falling Behind.” This song is another feature from EIKAL, and was just recently rediscovered on TikTok. It proceeded to rapidly start a new trend of girls in their twenties who haven’t yet experienced romantic love. The lyrics go as follows, “I’m only getting older / I’ve never had a shoulder to cry on / Someone to call mine / Everybody’s falling in love / And I’m falling behind.”

Ensuing “Dreamer” was a plethora of calm, serene melodies: “Beautiful Stranger,” “I Wish You Love,” “Promise,” “Like The Movies,” “Nocturne (Interlude),” “Let You Break My Heart Again,” “California and Me,” the title track “Bewitched,” “Haunted,” and “Best Friend,” which she wrote about her twin sister, Junia. 

I was positively enthused for the succeeding song, “Lovesick.” As told by Laufey herself, “Lovesick” was inspired by an ethereal moment she experienced in her home country of Iceland with a special boy of sorts. She and this boy were driving down the highway, windows down, the sun gleaming so perfectly. Laufey felt like she was in love, although in hindsight, she claimed it was anything but love. Following her speech of the storyline, the spotlights gleamed into a dazzling magenta. Strumming her cream-colored guitar, she vocalized her story into song, then progressed into incredible high-pitched vocals that were purely her own.

“We have made it to the end of my set,” Laufey said. The crowd immediately erupted with a chorus of saddened “No!”s. In truth, the concert had flown by, a whirlwind of magic and wonder. I, too, was depressed that it was ending so soon. She went on to thank the audience for coming out to the show, eliciting many “I love you!”s from the audience. Smiling sweetly, Laufey said, “But this last song is a fun one,” transitioning into “From the Start,” her highest-streamed single on Spotify with 153 million listens and counting. The song illustrates how she loved someone but they didn’t love her back the same way. At Laufey’s concerts, it is a tradition for the crowd to scream one particular lyric from “From the Start:” “‘She’s so perfect,’ BLAH BLAH BLAH!” This was a moment I wish I could capture and remember forever. It was full of joy and freedom, making an everlasting impression on me. 

Laufey’s Bewitched Tour was beyond bewitching. It was outright dazzling, brimming with fantastically sung original music and heartfelt speeches to the crowd. Laufey had phenomenal stage presence as well, never once letting me feel anything less than starstruck. The concert surpassed my expectations in every way possible. The night of Oct. 21, 2023, will forever be ingrained in my memory as the most magical experience of my teenage years. 

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About the Contributor
Maylee Ohlman, Staff Writer
Maylee Ohlman is a sophomore going on to her first year on The Central Trend.  She spontaneously decided to join Writing for Publication this year and is now excited to keep writing for the rest of her time in high school.  She is part of the FHCVDT and plans to also keep dancing for many years.  In her free time, she loves to read and try new bubble tea spots across Grand Rapids.  She loves to feel like a tourist anywhere she goes and aspires to travel as much as she can in her lifetime.  She is enthused to begin writing for The Central Trend this year. Favorite book: Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter Favorite TV show: The Last of Us Go-to bubble tea order: A peach milk tea with lychee jelly and tapioca pearls

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