Indie-pop artist Maude Latour lit up a stage that turned out to be much smaller than expected during what she called a “chaotic” and “absurd” Spring Fling Saturday.
Latour’s performance, which was initially set to take place in Potomac Square before inclement weather forced a scramble for a new location, abruptly moved indoors to Columbian Square on the first floor of the University Student Center, just yards away from Panera Bread. Latour said she and her band – guitarist Alex Foote and drummer Will Haywood Smith – had an hour to transform their set from a full-fledged band performance to a stripped-down, acoustic gig.
As a crowd of about 200 fans packed into Columbian Square at 6 p.m. for a 6:30 p.m. start time, the small room began to burst with contagious energy. Latour arrived on a small stage with a pastel balloon arch behind her and started with a performance of a softer version of her recent upbeat single “Heaven,” generating excited cheers from the crowd.
After finishing her first track of the night, Latour joked about her band frantically practicing downstairs just moments before, saying they “just put it together.” She shifted to the fan-favorite track “Lola,” which she dedicated to protecting transgender youth and abortion rights. To Latour’s visible delight, the crowd sang along to every word of the song’s hook – “Keep my girls protected / I’m turned on when I’m respected / For my planet, for my daughters / Make my music, drink my water.”
Latour shocked the audience with a performance of an unreleased song, “I Am Not the Sun,” which she said she will release in a few weeks. Latour confided in the crowd that she was “nervous” about performing the song because it “sounds different acoustic,” but her fans showered her with love as they swayed to the brand-new track.
Latour introduced her latest single “Lunch,” noting it was her first time performing it live since its release last month. The track delves into her innermost feelings while developing a “chemical magic crush” after meeting the woman who is now her girlfriend. The usual upbeat, synth-pop melodies of the track were replaced by a calm guitar, making the song feel even more intimate.
Next, Latour performed her 2021 single “Walk Backwards,” an ode to the blurry line between platonic and romantic love. Attendees loudly sang the lines “I can’t believe I found you within the Milky Way out of all eight billion people / So I say thanks to an unknown force,” with their best friends as Latour looked out and smiled along with the crowd.
The most invigorating moment of the entire concert came when Latour unexpectedly played her most famous song, “One More Weekend,” halfway through the setlist. When she hit the bridge, she told the audience, “Usually this is where I jump into the crowd.” She followed through with her promise, immediately stepping into the crowd and jumping up and down with the beat to match the audience’s energy. She described the mosh pit as a “lo-fi bounce.”
As Latour led up to the chorus of her hit single “Block Your Number,” she motioned for the crowd to crouch down and jump up as the beat dropped.
Latour said she is “putting out a lot of music in the next two months” and asked the crowd if they’d enjoy a “listening party” of an exclusive new track. After encouraging cheers from the crowd, Latour played the recorded studio version of her upcoming unreleased track “Twin Flame.” The chorus – “Stay by my side / You’re my twin flame for life” – had fans singing along even while hearing the song for the very first time.
After taking a quick break from singing and performing while listening to “Twin Flame,” Latour returned with her single “Trees,” telling the audience in between songs that she “will never forget” her experience playing at GW. Finally, after closing with “Living It,” Latour wished the crowd a happy Spring Fling and mentioned she’d be around to say hello after the show.
Latour told The Hatchet she was impressed by the crowd’s turnout and ability to remember every word of her lyrics.
“Everyone actually knew all the words, and it was so beautiful,” she said. “The performance went great, I was shocked at the actual turnout and everyone being deep in the cult with me. It was awesome.”
The chaotic nature of this year’s Spring Fling couldn’t keep Latour and the crowd from singing and dancing their hearts out. The thunderstorms may have been a setback, but the show must go on – and Latour ensured that it did.
This article appeared in the April 17, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.