I've seen the dreamy Sondre Lerche quite a few times, but this Williamsburg show felt different than any show I'd seen of his before. Usually solo on guitar, this modern-day crooner is consistently mesmerizing to watch. This time though, he had a backing band, and I saw him go from softly strumming to rocking out! The band made all the difference in his energy and performance. Watching Sondre alone gives the audience warm fuzzies, but watching him with a band makes you want to shake your thang more than usual.
With all eyes on him, Sondre opened the set with the catchy "Nevermind the Typos" off his new self-titled album. This is his 6th record, and I noticed how much of a seasoned performer he's become. He was perfectly charismatic throughout the show with witty banter and lots of audience interaction. At one point he even quoted Mystical's "Shake Ya Ass" at us (um..swoon much?). The only point where the show slowed was when he brought out members of the opening bands, Bird of Youth and Will Sheff. They did a Steely Dan cover, which could have been awesome, but felt awkward, like watching friends do karaoke. Otherwise, Sondre kept the show thoroughly lively. I expected the set list to be ninety percent new songs, but was the perfect combination of old and new. Highlights included the rocking "Phantom Punch," classic "Two Way Monologue," and brand new, "Private Caller."
By the end of the show, I was bummed he hadn't played my favorite song, "Modern Nature," a soft duet he's known to sing with the audience. (Fun Fact: Anyone notice that was the title of a photo shoot from BUST's Vera Farmiga issue?) I assumed his encore would be something new, but I was happily surprised when he ended the upbeat set with this favorite tune of mine. Every time I've seen it played, without fail, the audience will mess up the lyrics. The thing is though..no one cares. He sings, the audience sings and there's this really lovely, intimate moment of quiet harmonies between us all. No one feels too cool to sing along and somehow all the girls in the audience sound perfect together. The song was the cherry on top of an already fantastic show sundae.
Whether by himself or with a band, a Sondre show never fails to make me smile. I left the venue grinning ear to ear.
Check out the new video for his single "Domino." It's very Virgin Suicides-esque.