Friday, May 16, 2008

The Swell Season

Went to see The Swell Season last night, which was a really wonderful performance.

I was a little sad that I went alone, but then I didn't ask anyone to come with me, so not really anyone else's fault.

Also a mistake - I wore a dress, when 95% of the people there were in jeans. The venue lent itself to this kind of confusion, though - it's a concert hall, not a rock venue, and even Glen Hansard commented that he felt like he was in front of a school room. Still, sneakers would have been preferred, with the rain and the pinchiness of the shoes I did wear.

The show itself was great. I had a good seat, close enough without staring up anyone's nose. And I have to admit - although I've heard of The Frames, and have the "Once" soundtrack, I'm not all that familiar with the music not in the movie. Clearly I need to listen to more; they played a good combination for the crowd, which was obviously included a significant portion of people like me. It was an interesting crowd, in fact, with a lot of college-age or just above, and a thorough scattering of older people.

Glen Hansard has great stage presence, talked a lot about the songs (and I'm nothing if not a lover of commentary), joked around (at one point reminding me unexpectedly of Eddie Izzard) and had us sing along. There were portions where he sang by himself, alone on the stage; a few songs with him and Markéta Irglová alone; many songs with the full group (guitar, bass, drums, violin, piano). We also got a violin solo piece and a cover of Steve Earle's "The Mountain" by the tour manager.

(Just did a search online for the name of the song the tour manager sang, and found a nice review of the night here.)

Long ago, I decided that if I waited around for someone to go do things with, I'd seldom do anything but sit alone at home. Doesn't always make for the most social of times, but if I didn't, I wouldn't get to see great shows like this. Very glad I went.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you went too. Sounds like it was a great show.

    I saw Swell Season in Portland earlier in the tour. The were awesome. I posted a review at my blog at

    Also, NPR interviewed Glen and Marketa recently and you can hear it at