SLC Twilight: Laufey

Laufey • Grace Enger • Anna Beck • June 21, 2024 • Gallivan Center

Reviewed and Photographed by Logan Fang

Photo Credit: Logan Fang

“This is the biggest concert I’ve ever played at in the US.” 

Just eight months ago, Laufey was performing at The Depot in front of a couple hundred fans. Now she’s selling out venues and hosting the largest shows of her career. Her performance at The Gallivan Center on June 21st marked yet another milestone for the Icelandic-Chinese artist who described it as her biggest concert in the US to date.

“Salt Lake City holds a very special place in my heart,” Laufey shared with the sea of 7000 fans. She recalled that it was where she first heard her lyrics sung back to her years ago. Since then, she’s been on tour promoting her “Bewitched” album, all the while growing her ever-dedicated fanbase of “Lauvers” (the official fandom name for hardcore Laufey enthusiasts). Many of whom were present that night at The Gallivan Center, arriving in their finest attire, adorned with lacy bows as a nod to Laufey’s iconic outfits. 

But her trademark fashion isn’t the only thing inspiring fans. Her candid songwriting and revamping of oldie jazz have been driving forces behind her rise in popularity. Most recently, Laufey won a Grammy for the best Traditional Vocal Album for her release of  “Bewitched.” She’s now on tour for her newest album “Goddess,” continuing the North American segment of her journey. 

Anna Beck

Photo Credit: Logan Fang

The night began with performances by the local indie band Anna Beck and solo act Grace Enger. Anna Beck opened the stage with a fairly standard indie-rock performance. She and her band are a testament to the kind of burgeoning talent we’re treated to here in Salt Lake. Like many of their local peers, the band’s sound is truly DIY, the garage-band kind of style you’d expect out of a performance at Kilby Court. Anna’s work explores themes of queerness and femininity, veering into her complicated relationship with her identity. While most of her performance consisted of tracks she’s yet to release, Anna played several of her relatable breakup anthems like “Cut” and her most popular 2020 single “Sick of It.”

The song is about messy breakups which much of the crowd seemed to find relatable. Anna later admitted that this was the biggest crowd she had ever performed in front of, having been on the up-and-coming for some time. I’ll be interested to see where her music takes her as she continues to put out such deeply introspective tracks. 

Grace Enger

Photo Credit: Logan Fang

Following Anna’s short set, Grace Enger took to the stage. Enger mentioned that she recently finished touring as the opening act for Laufey and was grateful to once again set the stage for her. As a solo act, Anna exclusively played acoustic renditions of her songs which lent a much warmer feel to her performance that isn’t often captured by her studio recordings. Her live set errs towards a more folksy and country sound which I almost prefer to her traditional indie-pop style. She began her performance with “Me to You,” a track inspired by falling in love with a friend and her hit “The Cut” from her debut EP Well Here We Are.

Between songs, Grace shared the inspirations behind her music, recounting the time when she fell in love with someone but never actually liked them and the relatable experience of making good memories with bad people. Enger moved through catchy tracks like “When It Was Over” and a cover of Sixpence None the Richer’s hit “Kiss Me,” encouraging the audience to sing the chorus with her. Later, Grace shared a short anecdote describing how she and Laufey became friends after they bonded over wearing the same shoes. And like Laufey, Grace’s music has a unique charm, blending melodic arrangements with heartfelt lyricism. As the crowd buzzed with excitement, Grace wrapped up her set with her first single, “The Neighborhood.”

Photo Credit: Logan Fang


Photo Credit: Logan Fang

After a 45-minute wait, the stage lights finally dimmed as orchestra members proceeded on stage followed by the rest of Laufey’s band members. The crowd of 7000 fans, craning their necks over one another to get a better view of the stage, cheered as Laufey ran onto the stage. To begin the set, Laufey opened with her romantic hits “While You Were Sleeping” and “Valentine.” Known for her heart-wrenching ballads and honest songwriting, Laufey’s music blends bossa-nova with jazz reminiscent of legends like Ella Fitzgerald or Chet Baker.

While traditional jazz has faltered in popularity over the years, it’s interesting to see such a young demographic take a keen interest in Laufey’s revival of the genre. Young fans lined the amphitheater, clambering on top of street lamps and garbage cans just to catch a glimpse of the 25-year-old star. At the end of the “Valentine,” Laufey bent down into the audience to retrieve some of their gifts, including a bouquet of flowers and a letter. She then reminded the young crowd to be courteous to their neighbors and stay hydrated on this blistering summer evening.  

The concert continued with tracks like “Second Best,” “Dreamer,” and one of her most popular TikTok songs, “Falling Behind.” Like she explained last time I saw her at The Depot in October, her song “Beautiful Stranger” describes what it’s like to fall in love with a stranger that you’ll never see again. After playing a few songs on her guitar, Laufey showcased her classical training as she transitioned to the piano where she played her self-composed instrumental piece “Nocturne.” Growing up, Laufey learned to play several instruments from a young age—all of which made their way into her performance in some capacity.

She maneuvered between the cello, piano, and different guitars between songs as she made her way through the set and her top hits “Lovesick” and “From the Start.” Her encore consisted of “Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self” and “It Could Happen to You,” both uplifting pieces encouraging young musicians in the audience to pursue their dreams. At its core, Laufey’s music is an invitation to laugh at your misfortunes with love, to cry over a broken heart, and to embrace the daring “dreamer” inside of you. As the 25-year-old’s music continues to appeal to a young generation of listeners, I look forward to seeing how she redefines the classical jazz scene as a whole. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *