The rising star is a force to be reckoned with as her Mirror tour lands in London
It would seem that a Lauren Spencer Smith show starts a good twenty minutes before she sets foot onstage. As soon as the pre-show playlist teases the first notes of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’, the crowd are screaming along like it’s the final night of the Eras tour. From there, the group karaoke session continues to involve Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’, Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party In The USA’, Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Driver’s License’, and a second Swift offering in the form of ‘Shake It Off’. This is a girl who knows her audience.
Smith is one of Gen Z’s newest singer-songwriter darlings, and as such it’s the perfect start to the evening – artists in this bracket are cultivating a live experience that feels a lot like group therapy, and Smith is no exception. “Who wants to get sad?” she asks, later in the evening. A roar from the crowd. Like a game show host, she shakes her head and raises her microphone once more. “That wasn’t loud enough. Who wants to cry?” The roar is twice as loud.
Tongue-in-cheek it may be (“I love crying, I cry all the time”) but Smith’s penchant for huge tearjerkers and heartbreak anthems has earned her a devout group of fans, impossibly loud in the Kentish Town venue. They would threaten to drown out Smith herself, but one of the most obvious and unarguable takeaways from the evening is that Smith is a vocal powerhouse. Crowd favourites ‘Narcissist’ and ‘28’ see her deliver massive, room-filling vocals with sensitivity and variation, whilst a cover of Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ appears almost irritatingly effortless.
It’s been less than two years since Smith’s career-making ‘Fingers Crossed’ was released, but the singer projects the charisma and poise of an artist much further along in her career. Her crowd interactions are effortless and never stilted – she pulls a funny ‘how-we-met’ story out of a couple in the front row that involves a fall down a set of nightclub stairs and a TikTok stalk, and chats about her lifelong love of One Direction before a cover of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. Social media has seen Gen Z inundated with promising pop stars, offering up a wealth of young talent and relatable songwriting. The next few years will tell who pulls ahead – but it will be a surprise if Smith isn’t among them.