• jennieb

Lauv + Hayley Kiyoko + Payday at The Greek Theater Berkeley, September 15, 2022

You can tell when a singer really loves an audience and when an audience loves that singer back, and when it happens at the same time in the right venue it’s glorious to behold. This happened at the Lauv show at Berkeley’s Greek Theater, where Lauv’s pop songs and infectious energy had the crowd singing to him and him saying it was the best show of his tour. Maybe he says that to all the crowds? But he looked joyful, like he meant it. Lauv has a sneakily deep catalog, with hits like I’m So Tired and Kids Are Born Stars, and everybody knew them, and everybody belted them out. He mixed up the singing with a little honest talking to his crowd about how he’s had some hard times with anxiety and depression but medication and meditation have helped him, and he’s started an 762-CLB-LAUV hotline to help callers with similar concerns, and his sincerity and vulnerability made the night even more special. His stage lighting was dynamic and excellent, and he ended with I Like Me Better, which left the crowd buzzing.

Second opener Hayley Kiyoko and band came onstage singing infectious pop with energy for days, and the kids who were smashed against the barricade could barely control themselves. Hayley sang her hits and told the crowd she’s gay and asked who else was gay and a large percentage roared approval, which was a positive moment of representation. But maybe someday labels will evaporate and no one will even bat an eyelash at who’s holding who’s hand, wouldn’t that be great? Hayley's audience loved her a lot, including the two girls behind me who were in danger of tumbling down the steep stone amphitheater steps in their blind screaming ecstasy, and Hayley deserves the adulation. She’s worked hard at having a great catalog of songs. Check out Demons live.

Payday (PJ Clark) came onto the Greek stage before the sun went down and looked a little tiny all by herself up there, but her fun songs and energy whipped up the crowd right off the bat. She got people singing and hyped up for the rest of the night, and she’s got some swagger for sure. The crowd was with her the whole time. Check out her song White Mercedes here.

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