Nov 27, 2007

Sondre Lerche at the Music Hall of Williamsburg 11/26/07

*written sometime around 12:30 last night, finished up today*

This blog has unintentionally come to focus mainly on dj's and electronic/dance music, but I listen to a lot of other stuff. Stuff you probably can't picture someone who writes things like, "ahhh it's 4am and I just got home from seeing Simian Mobile Disco and they banged!!!" listening to.

Tonight I went to see one of those musicians...Sondre Lerche. He's a 25 year old guy from Norway, who sings and plays the guitar (both acoustic and electric). He sometimes plays with a band, the Faces Down (but tonight's show was solo). His music is generally very mellow, but has its rocking moments too. Sondre's lyrics are thoughtful, and even the most poppy of his tunes seems to have more depth than most. As much as I was semi repulsed by the yuppies of the future and couples ready to register at Pottery Barn that surrounded me at tonight's show, I honestly have no shame in aligning myself with them in being a Sondre Lerche fan, because he really is a talented musician.

ps - you just got saved from a tangent about how Sondre Lerche is good music to listen to when you are at the beginning of a relationship and everything is working out, and how when it doesn't work out it's great music to take naps to on your 2 hour morning commute, along with even more vague allusions to past relationships. Haha.

Anyway...both of those things happen to be true. I actually can't think of a time that is bad for listening to Sondre Lerche...other than maybe when you really want to hear some banging dance music.

Tonight was a nice evening off from banging dance jams and getting home just before the sun rises. Thanks to the combination of me chronically leaving my apartment early, and the G-train being jacked up I arrived at the Music Hall of Williamsburg perfectly on time for Sondre's set. I was shocked at how empty it was. Well, not empty, but just not packed the way I've seen many Sondre shows before. I remember seeing him at Bowery when it was sold out, and also at a pretty packed Webster Hall. Maybe it's because he's playing 3 shows in the area this week? In any case it was nice to not have people on top of me and I got a great spot toward the right, directly in front of the stage. Sondre started a little after 10 and played for about an hour and a half.

I know he started with these three songs, in this order

Don't Be Shallow
Everyone's Rooting For You
Airport Taxi Reception

I really, really like Don't Be Shallow, but wasn't really ready for it. It kind of flew by before I could enjoy it.

These were all in the middle, though I have nooo idea of the order:
Say It All
After All
Two Way Monologue
Stupid Memory
Minor Detail
Human Hands
Modern Nature
To be Surprised
I'll Be OK
Dead Passengers
Tragic Mirror
I Wanna Call It Love
Happy Birthday Girl

The encore (there was another song in there, probably out of the list above, just can't remember which - might've been Modern Nature):

Phantom Punch (his version without the Faces Down ROCKED! Seriously he tore it up and he yelled this one note at the end and held it forever and it was brilliant.)
Sleep on Needles (waiting impatiently for this song is why I can't remember the first song of the encore. It's probably my favorite song off of Sondre's Faces Down album, and performed live it's really great and lively).

It was probably one of the best Sondre shows I've been to. It was nice to have a smaller crowd than usual. His performance was excellent and he played every song I wanted to hear. The only one I might have wanted to hear which I didn't realize until I wrote the review was Dead End Mystery. Other than that he hit all my favorites.

Another great thing about Sondre is he is hilarious, 99% of the time without trying to be. I think it has something to do with him being foreign, maybe even specifically from Norway because I noticed Erlend Oye is funny in a similar, not trying to be, way. Because he's not trying to be funny it's kind of difficult to convey the humor here, but he touched on living on the bad side of the freeway on South 4th St. in Williamsburg, mice, breaking guitar strings, mispronouncing the word memories (mammaries) the first time he performed Stupid Memories, meeting everyone from The Office and Patrick Swayze at the premiere of Dan in Real Life, and what was probably everyone's anecdotal highlight...hearing the song Gasolina by Daddy Yankee blasting outside of his Williamsburg apartment, followed by a short lived and half-hearted attempt at covering it which was in itself worth the price of the ticket.

A couple of pics:

If you have nothing planned tonight you can probably make it to his show at the Bowery Ballroom if you hurry!! Haha...I meant to post this earlier in the day but I found myself unexpectedly running all over Manhattan for work this afternoon. There are still tickets left for his show at Maxwell's Thursday. I've never been there but from what I hear it's nice and small which is the perfect setting to see Sondre.


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