Over the weekend I had the absolute pleasure of going to see Glen Hansard live.
This would be the 4th time I had seen him play, I had seen him twice in Melbourne with the swell season and once in London. This gig would prove to be quite different for a few reasons. Firstly Glen is no longer The Swell Season . This tour is a solo affair gone is Marketa Irglova and coming in a string section, horns and a keyboardist. The night started of with Lisa Hannigan Solo playing songs from her two albums delicately and with beauty . Then Glen comes on and the show builds like an explosive volcano , quiet then the eruption of soul rock and experimental .
The other highlight for me was the addition of the Bruce Springsteen Classic Drive All Night. With that song came the bosses own Sax player and nephew of legend Clarence Clemons , Jake Clemons. His Sax Playing was sublime.
I particularly loved the treatment of falling slowly complete with full strings it lifted the song to a place I hadn’t felt it had been since it appeared in the Once closing credits.
The night ended as amazingly as it had began. Upon finishing the final song Glen and company still playing there instruments took to the floor of the theatre then walked out of the theatre with audience in tow playing yet another small set of songs in the foyer of the hall. It seemed that every irish expat joined in on irish classics such as the auld triangle.
The show was just mammoth with a running time including Lisa Hannigan’s set of over 4hrs it was a night of incredible stories, great music and a celebration of what it is to be alive.
Glen is a total pro and a gentleman to boot on his last tour in 2010 I got to meet the man and found him to be warm and as nice of a human being as you would ever find.
In a time when people feel disconnected from the big business of music and entertainment in general, Glen brings back the intimacy and connection surely lacking from big stadium and arena shows. By the end of the night you feel like he has played to you.