Sondre, Willy Warm Hearts

What do you do when your guitar malfunctions mid-song, and you’re stuck onstage waiting for a roadie to rush out your replacement? If you’re Sondre Lerche, you shrug your shoulders, beam a smile at your adoring audience, and dance the robot in place of your guitar solo. In fact, Lerche was dancing nearly as much as he sang on Saturday night (April 7) at NYC’s Webster Hall. Indie songster Willy Mason opened the show, blending his folksy alt-country with richly resonant and throaty vocals that belied his years. Mason’s haunting harmonies were a killer match for violinist/singer Nina Violet, especially on songs such as “We Can Be Strong” and “If the Ocean Gets Rough,” both found on his 2007 effort, If the Ocean Gets Rough (read the three-star review).

Once Lerche took to the stage, with the Faces Down Band, the Norwegian indie pop dreamboat began gyrating and flipping his hair about, diving headlong into a set list that heavily featured tracks off of his latest album, Phantom Punch, but select cuts from Two Way Monologue and jazz venture The Duper Sessions were also peppered throughout. And Lerche’s live demeanor is even warmer than his songs, as he enthusiastically wished everyone a Happy Easter and later allowed the hipster-mixed crowd to take a vocal lead on “Modern Nature.” With an evening was every bit as delightful as Lerche himself, there was nothing phantom about his musical one-two ‘punch.’ Take that, Muhammad Ali. TRICIA SUMMERS / PHOTOS BY DAVE GUSTAV

>> Listen to Sondre Lerche on Napster
>> Listen to Willy Mason on Napster

We asked: Have you ever had a “two-way monologue”?

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