Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sondre Lerche Played GAMH

Going to see Sondre Lerche is a bit like going to hang out with a good looking, charismatic friend, who also happens to have a fantastic voice and songwriting talent. Lerche's demeanor on stage is laid back and affable, and he clearly feels comfortable with his adoring fans. The amazing part is that for all of the heartthrob vibe that arises at his shows, Lerche is also such a genuine musical talent. He consistently delivers amazing songs, full of spirit and vigor, and he clearly loves to play them for his audience.

The set last night at Great American was similar to the set we covered in Boston last fall: Lerche played solo on both acoustic and electric guitars, covering a wide variety of material from his catalogue. The big difference here was that Lerche is on a tour to test out new material, where as last fall's set was a promotional tour for the film Dan In Real Life, for which Lerche provided the soundtrack.

Lerche did a great job with the new material, as well as the old. To be frank, his songs are so melodically accessible that many of the new songs felt like old favorites as soon as we had heard them. Some of the highlights of the set included a fantastic cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers To Cross", and a new tune that was inspired by George Lazenby's performance in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Another key difference from the Boston set was the presence of an opening act: Sylvie Lewis. Lewis opened with an accessible set of folk tunes, but the real treat came when she joined Lerche on stage towards the end of the set. The two sang a trio of duets, including "Hell No"from the Dan In Real Life soundtrack, a stunning version of Lewis' song "New York", and the Lerche favorite "Modern Nature". Lerche has apparently gotten so used to singing the last track solo that he managed to sing over Lewis' part at one point! All in all, the addition of a female vocalist added a nice variety to Lerche's set, and gave some nice exposure to Lewis' songwriting.

Being that this was a tour of new material, Lerche opted to release a limited edition tour EP: The Polaroid Pool Party EP it features demos and new tracks on an autographed CD-R, as well as a San Francisco original Polaroid (ours is above). The tracks (while a tad raw in production) are classic Lerche, and no doubt will be a welcome treat to fans who head out to see him on this jaunt.

Many more photos at the H.A.D. Archive