Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova at City Winery (02/02/10)
Photo: D. Caplan
The show was billed as “Glen Hansard Solo Acoustic”, but the keyboard and drums setup on stage belied the fact that we might be seeing more than one person on stage for the night. As promised, Glen came out solo with his signature crater filled Takamine NP15 and started us off with the charming (but probably unfamiliar to many) Frames ballad “Disappointed”. Knowing how to please a crowd, Glen quickly brought casual Swell Season fans back into the fold with four recognizable tunes, including a belted out version of “Leave” (as if there were any other to sing it), a sing along version of “In These Arms” and an unamplified version of “Say It To Me Now” (which he claimed was the best way to hear it). After having given the capacity crowd a taste of what they wanted, Glen told the audience that he was playing the show without a set list and played the traditional Irish tune “The Parting Glass” in memory of Robert Sargent Shriver. It was a bit long and schmaltzy for my tastes, but the crowd ate it up anyway.
Having put up his solo act for a half dozen or so songs (with a nod and wink to the wings every now and then), Glen brought out his band for the rest of the night including Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, Brad Albetta, Ray Rizzo and Jake Clemons. They loosely cut through six new songs, some of which had been just been layed down in the studio according to Glen. (He never mentioned what project the new material actually was for, but by process of elimination, I can only assume it will appear on a Glen Hansard solo record or possibly under the title of a new Hansard fronted band.) The new songs were clearly still being worked out as they were played and Glen politely asked the audience not to post anything on the Internet, (a cursory search of YouTube shows that most of the show is already up there). Then finally, after teasing us all night with special guests, Glen brought out Park Slope’s own Marketa Irglova who proceeded to play her own new song “Crossroads” on solo piano! OK, luckily “Crossroads” was only an appetizer before the main course and Glen and Mar came back on to play on to play “Lies” and “When Your Mind’s Made Up” to rapturous applause (sure, life goes on, but it’s gotta be tough to give up that kind of adulation). The mini-Swell Season reunion ended the set proper and then Glen came back out and called his singer-songwriter friend Mark Geary from the audience for a heartfelt rendition of Mark’s song “It Beats Me“. The first encore also included The Swell Season staple “Into The Mystic” (backed by a full band) and the traditional song “The Auld Triangle” with Tim Shriver (whose daughter incidentally sat beside me) on backing vocals and a little bit of failed audience participation from a few drunken lads. The final encore had Glen and Mar singing two straight ahead rockers which have made appearances in past live Swell Season shows, yet were unfamiliar to me. I mistaked “Cactus” by the Pixies for George Thorogood‘s “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” and the even more obscure “Fogtown” by Michelle Shocked was a dead ringer for “Stray Cat Strut” by The Stray Cats. We didn’t get “Falling Slowly”, but in the end in I think everyone came away feeling pretty great and getting even more than what they could have hoped for.
Glen Hansard will play again tonight at Carnegie Hall at the Michael Dorf produced Tribute to Neil Young.
More pictures from the show and a setlist after the jump.
Glen Hansard at City Winery (02/02/11)
2. Low Rising
3. In These Arms
5. Say It To Me Now
6. The Parting Glass (Traditional)
7. (New Song, Unknown Title) – Last Glen solo song
8. Your Heart’s Not In It Babe
9. (New Song, “Alice”)
10. (New Song, “Love Don’t Keep Me Waiting”)
11. (New Song, Unknown Title)
12. (New Song, “Rare Bird”)
13. Crossroads – Marketa Irglová solo piano
14. Lies (with Markéta Irglová)
15. When Your Mind’s Made Up (with Markéta Irglová)
16. It Beats Me (Mark Geary cover w/ Mark Geary)
17. Into the Mystic (Van Morrison cover)
18. The Auld Triangle (Traditional)
19. Cactus (Pixies cover)
20. Fogtown (Michelle Shocked cover)
Glen Hansard at City Winery (02/02/10)