The first time I ever heard about Lauren Daigle was back in 2018 when pop star, Selena Gomez shared Daigle’s song “This Girl” on Instagram. Gomez noted the worship song helped her when she faced feelings of anxiety and depression. Fast forward to the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, I got a chance to see Lauren Daigle live at the Gentilly Stage. She captivated thousands of festgoers that Saturday with her voice and a 12-piece band.
Ironically, Sunday marks one year to the day since Lauren Daigle was in the spotlight in New Orleans for joining California-based worship leader Sean Feucht’s unpermitted “Let Us Worship” prayer rally/concert in the French Quarter. This lead to public scrutiny and backlash from New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell due to the COVID-19 restrictions put in place at the time. A year later, the Louisiana native returned to the city to perform for thousands in the Smoothie King Center!
While fans waited in anticipation for Daigle to hit the stage, songs like “Boogie Shoes” and “That’s The Way I Like It” by KC and the Sunshine Band played throughout the arena. Next thing you know, LSU’s Pre-Game song blares through the Smoothie King Center getting fans on their feet to yell a boisterous ‘Geaux Tigers’ before Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” began to play. As Beyoncé sings the words ‘When I need you everything stops’, the music abruptly stops and the lights go down causing the crowd to jump on their feet.
The show opened with a spoken word poem by Channell Warren-Imani followed by a performance of “O’Lord” by Daigle. With a minimal stage setup, Daigle, her eight-piece band, DJ, and three backing vocalists captivated the crowd for almost two hours on Saturday night by delivering an uplighting show.
Before moving to Nashville to pursue a career in music, Daigle attended LSU (fun fact: she actually lead the choir at LSU) so it’s only right she sported a purple and gold tie-dyed No. 91 shirt to show support as the Tigers played against one of their biggest rivals, Alabama!
“We just kind of have the best state in the world…Louisiana is the best,” she expressed before taking a second to give thanks to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, who reached out to Daigle to become a tourism spokesperson for the state of Louisiana! As a tribute to LA, she performed a cover of Governor Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine” – which you may have heard in the state’s recent tourism marketing campaigns. The stage lit up yellow mimicking the sun while Lauren radiated in a yellow cardigan.
Welcoming All With Open Arms
“Every night the audience brings something so potent and so powerful,” she shared before voicing that a zoom call with a microphone doesn’t constitute a concert. “People make all the difference every single night. It’s so riveting. It’s so glorious.” Daigle went on to share that she hopes people leave her shows touched, transformed, and shifted. “If you came in this room tonight and you don’t know who Jesus is, that is just fine. We are so glad you are here. I’m glad that you’re here. But I bet by the end of the night, you might have a little taste.”
Before performing a medley of older worship songs, Daigle spoke on the rising suicide rate – especially within the last year – along with the rising crime rate within our city. “…that is a place of desperation and of hopelessness. But why stop talking about the hope of the world when we have an antidote right with us.” The contemporary pop Christian artist expressed how she previously didn’t speak about God during shows.
Throughout the night, Lauren Daigle enthralled the crowd with her beautiful lyrics, larger than life personality, captivating voice, and avid storytelling. Here are some of my favorite moments throughout the night.
- She shared that her favorite to sing live is “This Girl.” Before going into the song, she cracked a joke about how every time she sings the lyrics, “This girl ain’t going anywhere”, there’s always one fan that makes a liar out of her by walking away to go to the restroom or get a beer. And sure enough, someone left during the song and Daigle made sure to point it out!
- As she performed one of her newer songs, “Come Back Home,” pictures of her as a child with family and friends were displayed on the screen. The high-energy anthem ended with colorful confetti as the crowd danced around and clapped to the beat!
- It’s a running joke that people have called Lauren Daigle the “Christian version of Adele” so the crowd couldn’t help but laugh when she sang the opening line of Adele’s “Hello” (though I have to admit, she did sound similar to the British singer).
- Daigle, her band, and backup vocalists hit a coordinated two-step as they covered Curtis Mayfield’s 1970 classic, “Move On Up” before husband and wife duo, War and Treaty (who opened the show) joined Daigle on stage to cover “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
- Before performing her Grammy Award-winning hit, “You Say, messages from fans were displayed messages onto the screen. Fans from all around the country professed how the song made them feel treasured, validated them in feeling enough, and gave them hope when they were ready to end it all.
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