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Live: The Swell Season

The Swell Season

The Swell Season performing at meymandi Concert hall on May 15 2008.
Photo: Leigh Ann Hines

From the moment Glen Hansard stepped on stage at Meymandi Concert Hall, the audience was in his grip. The Swell Season captivated us all for over 2 hours…2 hours and 20 minutes to be exact. It started with Glen stepping onto the front edge of the stage to loud applause, but once he began to sing, it became perfectly silent except for the sound of his voice and guitar. Not a rustle or whisper. Everyone was transfixed by him and the music. Gorgeous. He was then joined by Markéta and they sang a duet, before Markéta moved to the piano and they were joined by other members of the band. The evening progressed with Glen and Marketa switching instruments and vocals, covering songs from the movie, songs from their CD The Swell Season, as well as several Frames numbers. Glen entertained us with tales of childhood, first loves, and irish lore, always weaving his way, sometimes in a very roundabout manner, into the back-story of a song.

The Swell Season

For me, the standout performances included Fitzcarraldo, with an amazing arrangement with piano. Markéta was all over the place and was absolutely brilliant. Also, When Your Mind’s Made Up was absolutely stunning.

I wish I had taken notes so as to remember the exact set list and the order, but I was too busy enjoying the music. From my memory, which can be fairly lacking at times, their set list included (in no particular order):

Say it Now (Glen solo)
When Your Mind’s Made up?
Into the Mystic (a Van Morrison cover)?
Falling Slowly
Fantasy Man (a new song sung by Marketa)?
Lay Me Down?
What Happens When The Heart Just Stops?
The Blue Shoes (a violin solo by Colm)?
Fitzcarraldo (amazing arrangement with piano, Mar was absolutely brilliant!)?
Star, Star?
If You Want Me

I know I’m missing a few songs from the list but its not because i didn’t enjoy them, but because there was so much to enjoy that it was difficult to remember every moment.
While some in the audience were unfamiliar with a few of the songs, it didn’t dampen they enjoyment or enthusiasm, and I bet those who hadn’t heard the full Swell Season CD, or who had never heard of the Frames, were making a stop at the merch table to snatch up whatever they could, and rightly so. I’ve been a fan of Glen and The Frames for many years and this night’s performance was stunning in it’s own right. Glen and Markéta sound perfect together and the way they interact on stage is heartwarming. The whole show, all 2 hours and 20 minutes of it, felt intimate. It felt almost as if you were in your neighbor’s basement listening to your friends sing. How perfect is that?

Glen Hansard

To view more photos from the show, visit The Swell Season image gallery.

The Swell Season myspace
The Frames official site


One comment for “Live: The Swell Season”

  1. Awesome show. great write up. And as always, stunning pictures.

    Posted by Paul | June 3, 2008, 12:35 pm

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