Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Swell Season

So I've meant to write about this movie....but it never happened. Seek this movie out! It has a documentary/musical feel.....it's SO hard to describe, but you won't be sorry. (I must mention that it is rated R) The two leading actors are actually musicians who cowrote all of the songs for the movie, then were asked to star in it themselves. They even fell in love in real life too!

This brings us to the topic of this blog! The actors/musicians from Once have now started touring as The Swell Season, and I saw them in Louisville tonight. From the moment Glen hit the stage, I knew it was going to be a good night. He came out with his guitar, walked to the edge of the stage, got on his knees and belted out a song without a mic.

Glen played the same acoustic guitar with the shredded body that he plays in the film. The reason it has holes in it, is because it was his first guitar and he's been playing it since he was 13 yrs. old. Marketa spent most of the night playing piano....she was subtly amazing!

This wasn't just a performance by a great duo; they were joined by members of The Frames, Glen's other band. It was so obvious these two were in love....even from the balcony! They had beaming smiles toward each other from across the stage. A few times Glen called Marketa over with just a nod of his head to come share his microphone on a duet. The intimacy I witnessed almost made me feel like the audience was intruding on a private moment.

The stage set up was minimal. 6 musicians, a few amps, mics and their instruments. Hansard is a gifted....awkward.....storyteller, and he’s one of those singer-songwriters who insists on telling the story behind the song with each tune he plays. This Irishman is funny too and sometimes his long-winded stories would come to close to outshining the actual song!

The acoustics seemed perfect! Each song proved effortless. The ache and passion in their voices made my stomach twist up.

Marketa held her own on the big stage while Glen moved to the piano. How can I describe a performance that is every bit as perfect and even better than their recorded music?

When they came back for their encore, they didn't just play another song, they played for another half an hour!

When Melissa and I were walking back to the car, I was shocked to look at the time and realize the concert had been 3 hours. My only criticism was that it was too short!

Recently, a mentor of mine encouraged me to make time for those things that replenish me spiritually, those things that make me come alive. Live music is on the top of that list. I am so grateful to have gotten the chance to see Glen and Marketa; it will go down as one of the most special shows I've ever seen.

Here are some videos from the night!

When Your Mind's Made Up

Where are the Bells?

This song won an Oscar!


The Ice House said...

Um...LOVED this blog!
First of all can I say that I have been a Frames fan for several years now. I saw them play in L.A. three years ago and it was magical. Even hung out with them after. (it was crazy coincidence cause I ran into them somewhere else after their show)

anyway...LOVED the movie once and made everyone I know go see it when it was in theater. (made my family watch it on christmas eve despite the "f-bombs") haha
and how fun that you got to see this show!
I cant wait until they come to Dallas!!!

love you
miss you