by pieces of moments
So I had a real treat tonight. I found out just yesterday that Sondre Lerche was doing a show tonight at the 9:30 Club and promptly jumped online to grab a ticket! I’ve been wanting to catch him in concert for a very long time, so, tonight was awesome to say the least.
Can we just talk about how amazing refreshing it is to see a show where someone is standing there, alone, in the spotlight with a guitar and just ripping it up? The man has serious improv skills…as well as recon skills: he broke (and had fixed) a string on his acoustic twice. Yes, TWICE, and each time just noodled around to figure out how to finish big minus the string. It’s been a long time since I really was like “woah, hey!” listening to someone give it up on stage. Feels so good on the ears, you know? And he has such a great spirit, you can tell, like, Shirley Temple, mixed with Chet Baker cool, mixed with Brooklyn hipster, all wrapped up in a Norwegian. Yeah, that’s about right. His heartbreak songs don’t cheapen the experience of sadness, and yet have something of a silver lining sound about them, like, it’s going to be okay in the end. And his positive songs, well, they just make you want to eat popcorn and throw yourself into a field of daisies or something. Actually, he said something tonight that kinda puts the finger on it. Before he launched into the song “Words and Music” he said, “this is not for any cynics out there!” (You’ll be words, and I’ll be music/ain’t you heard, that’s how to do it/You’re a poem when you’re on your own/I try not get in your way, but of all the pretty poems I have known, baby you give me something to say…) That’s totally it – he’s not cynical at all.
The evening was like a gathering of old friends. It was clear that everyone there was a pretty major fan, and more than half the audience had been there the last time he played at the 9:30 Club. So, the whole night had that kind of repartee back and forth between stage and crowd.
Random dude behind me: “Play ‘My Hands Are Shaking!'”
Sondre (looking pensive and amused) “Yeah…you know…I might just play that one!” (he did…)
Then ensued a 3 minute conversation between the audience and Sondre about how many songs he had written that referenced hands. Amazing. There was another long conversation about Harrison Ford movies. Sondre, who turned 27 just the other day (girl in the audience: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Sondre: “Thank you! So many positive words tonight!”), said he knew he was aging because he suddenly wants to watch Harrison Ford movies whenever he has free time. There were some absolutely hysterical exchanges over which Ford movies he had seen verses the Ford movies the audience was shouting out.
We had a great time, all us strangers together. The encore was a rousing sing-along of “Modern Nature.”
Oh, and Sondre is on Twitter now. Just so ya know. That’s how I found out he recorded a Tiny Desk Concert over at NPR this morning in Bob Boilen’s office. Also, if you (for some silly reason) can’t make it to a live show on this tour (dates listed below), you’re in luck! Those awesome kids at NPR have captured it and put it in a little bottle to send out into the seas of the interwebs. Enjoy it here.