Norwegian native and New York-based Sondre Lerche started out this latest tour two men down. At the last minute, two band members were refused papers to travel from Norway. Lerche almost threw in the towel, but as fate and 24 hours' time would have it, his drummer Dave was able to be replaced. Unfortunately, the replacement keyboardist couldn’t play the first and last dates of the tour, which made for a bit of improv, as Pleasure is Lerche’s ode to the 80s/electronic album. His musical stylings over eight albums have changed and been reinvented several times.
Without a keyboardist, the band molded the last set of the tour in such a way that you couldn’t really tell it was mostly from the dance album, with one exception at the end of the set, where the bassist played a mini-synth board. The One Eyed Jacks crowd was thoroughly amazed throughout the evening.
The evening started off on a funny note as Lerche opened up for himself, playing tunes solo and taking an audience request. The joke continued all night until he revealed that he was, in fact, the same person. The storyteller aspect of the solo material was a comfortable lead into the band's full set. My early recollections of Sondre Lerche were always centered around a baroque-pop idea, but the set was anything but that—only a few traces would seep out throughout the evening. The band, albeit down a member, didn’t even come across as if there was any element missing.
Since this was the last date of the tour, the band was very chatty and relaxed. As not to have to ship the merchandise back, Lerche did his best sales pitch. He noted that they had CDs, vinyl, bags, and also—a few of his passion projects—scented candles were available. This led into a funny discussion about the guys doing a Youtube series on any and all things scented. The band played out the bit like they were sharing an inside joke that they were the only ones privy to.
In any case, time passed by way too quickly, with the set ending on a high note. Lerche reprised his opening band rolls for the encore, coming back and singing one intermittent tune, easily and superbly. The tender moment echoed a perfect ending to a huge and chaotic tour.