Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Swell Season - Uptown Theater 11/30/09 KCMO

The Swell Season are the folk duo of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. They made their mark in the music world with the film Once, where they won the academy Award for "Falling Slowly". Prior to that Glen Hansard was the frontman for the Irish band The Frames. The rest of The Frames joined Glen and Markéta on stage for most of the evenings performance.

The show was a really good mix of old and new. They played a few songs of The Frames as well as a Tim Buckley cover. They went from starting as a duo to the full band and then Markéta played a few songs followed by Glen doing a solo session and back to the duo and then full band. They even did a new song I would call There.

There was a pretty full crowd at the Uptown Theater, possibly even sold out. Glen Hansard played well to the crowd. He told good stories and explained the meaning of some of the songs. Toward the end of the show he had the crowd interacting by singing along with a couple of songs. Even as they came out for the Encore, Glen asked the crowd to stay standing for the rest of the show.

Glen really belted out some amazing songs including an unplugged version of "Say It To Me Now" He pulled away from the mic and unplugged the guitar and played it right at the front of the stage. He told a story of a woman he met in Chicago and whose son died in the Towers on 9/11/01. It may have been a story he has told before, but it was a good one.

I didn't realize how young Markéta was, but seeing her from the 3rd row center she really looked every bit her younf age of 21 even though she sings like an experience professional of 40. Her songs were beautiful to hear as she sang and she really complimented Glen as he sang.

The show went on for about 2 hours and was really a fantastic night of music. I really wish they would have recorded the 2009 tour, but for some reason they decided to skip it for this tour. That was one show I would love to hear over and over.

All I can say is go out and see them if you get a chance. Check out their website for details at http://www.theswellseason.com/ as well as pick up their new CD Strict Joy. There is a Deluxe version with a DVD from the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee show from 2007 or 2008 as well as an extra cd with some of the highlights of that live performance.

Go see them, they are brilliant.

Setlist: Fallen From the Sky; Lies; Low Rising; Feeling the Pull; In These Arms; Strict Joy; The Rain; Look Back Now; If You Want Me; Fantasy Man; Say It To Me Now; Leave; What Happens When the Heart Just Stops (F); Buzzin' Fly (Tim Buckley cover); instrumental (Markéta Irglová and Colm Mac Con Iomaire); Alone Apart; Once; When Your Mind's Made Up.

Encore: Falling Slowly; new song ("There"); High Horses; Red Chord/The Parting Glass.

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