The Swell Season
Once a guy who was playing his guitar while singing in front of a store met a gal selling flowers who needed her vacuum to be repaired. They ended up making beautiful music together. Only a good plot for a movie? Maybe not.
Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova and The Frames came to Pittsburgh as The Swell Season. Glen and Marketa were greeted with applause as they took the stage and began singing "Into the Mystic". Usually performers save their most well known song for near the end of a show or even the encore, building momentum throughout the set. The 2nd song they did was "Falling Slowly", and the concert managed to soar upwards from there.
Glen has the craft of building a song and false endings perfected. He's very entertaining, engaging, endearing; in addition to being gifted with a great sense of humor. Some performers wear their hearts and emotions on their sleeves, Glen can't keep his emotions contained.
Being a Presidential election year, Glen could not resist encouraging us to all go out to vote, and then suggested a candidate to cast our ballot for (and it sounded like the audience, for the most part, agreed with his choice).
All the musicians had their time in the spotlight. Glen and Marketa showcased their talents together and as soloists. Glen often encouraged us to sing along (and we did!). Each song was well received with generous applause.
It was a 65-minute show, with a standing ovation, followed by a 35-minute encore. The Frames were in a semi-circle on the stage with lights behind them at stage level, essentially framing them. When Marketa was at the piano, her back was turned to the audience. She did take center stage with the guitar to sing a couple of times and Glen went to the piano. The Frames violinist shined on many songs throughout; he was given a chance during the encore to shine on his own.
Glen seemed to appreciate the response from the audience and recalled how they are now able to play bigger theaters thanks to the success of "Once". They sang many songs from that soundtrack, plus songs from The Frames as well as a couple of brand new songs, which may soon become fan favorites.
What a swell evening of music. I can't wait to hear more from Glen, Marketa and The Frames in the future.
Bill Callahan (also known as "Smog") opened the show. He sang and played electric guitar; accompanied by a drummer for his 45-minute set.
Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host
P.S. Glen's local musican friend who joined him on stage is Mark Dignam: