7th Street Entry at First Avenue

One of the items on my 50th year list of fun things to do was go to a concert at First Ave. I've been once before, but that was in the main room. This time, Jim and I went to the smaller room (capacity 250 standing). It's about as big as the two levels of my house put side by side. When I had told Jim about my bucket list and wanting to go to a concert, he got on the First Ave website and found out that Sondre Lerche was coming to the 7th St Entry. I don't know many of Sondre's songs, but one of them that I do know, "Phantom Punch," is one of my favorite songs ever.

So we bought tickets.

The concert was last night and it was fantastic! I loved being in a small venue because we could see the band, even though we were towards the back. (We were actually the first ones to get in, and we snagged two of the few barstools for the show because I was worried how my back was going to hold up if I had to stand the whole time). The music was LOUD, but after a few times plugging my ears during the opener, I tolerated it.

OMGee, the opening act was an experimental musician whose name I never did discover. Jim did and he said even after reading it, he couldn't remember what it was, but it was related to some math equation. Anyway, the guy came out on stage, didn't look at or acknowledge the audience, and sat down at a little table with a tiny equipment set up, and proceeded to play 45 minutes of uninterrupted computer-filtered, effing loud, sci-fi-ish ambient music. He never said a word the whole time and when he was done, he just packed up his gear and left the stage. I wouldn't say it was bad, but I wanted some context for his music. Where is he coming from, why does he do what he does? He is an enigma for sure. The crowd danced half-heartedly to his music--mostly head bobbing--and watched him, maybe waiting for him to do something other than fiddle with his very tiny sound board. Many people had their cell phones out and spent the set time noodling online. Without any context for his harmonic, bass-heavy, modulated sounds, I would have to say that I think this would be best performed as the sound track to a middle budget, indie sci fi movie.

Sondre Lerche, on the other hand, clearly loved being in front of an audience. He acted like he was in front of thousands, flailing all over the place. He's quite hyper. Like I said, I only know one album of his, and I wouldn't have said it was hyper. except for Phantom Punch. Anyway, his style of music is clearly indie/electronic but driven. He played Phantom Punch third and I got off my barstool and hopped around as much as I could in a crowded space. Even though I didn't know any of the other songs, I enjoyed his set very much. His music is exceptionally danceable, except the one song where he calmed down and sang it without the mic. It was just him and his guitar, the band having left the stage. He wandered all around the tiny tiny stage and got into EVERY song.  He responded to a few shouted questions from a couple of people in the crowd. The most fun part was during the encore, he left the stage to join with the audience and he danced around the room, grabbing people for hugs and holding hands for dancing. He was probably out there a good 10 minutes, soaking up all the energy and enjoyment of everyone who came to see him play. He didn't come quite close enough to manhandle me, but that's ok. He was about 6 feet away at one point though. It was just so cool!

Wow, this got long. Anyway, pictures:
The performer who sings the new MST3k theme song has a star on First Ave

The door

the set

We're magenta!

the venue

experimental music person

Sondre Lerche and his band

a dropped beer can 

He enjoyed playing

yellow foggy drizzle