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Concert Review: The Swell Season @ 9:30 club

Hello, Jason here.
Apologies to all for not posting of late, I've been rather busy with work, and about half my extended family is currently visiting here, which is making things a bit hectic.

Last night a friend and I got to see Glen Hansard (The Frames) and Marketa Irglova (pretty) perform together as I guess The Swell Season. The name of the band is a bit confusing, when The Swell Season album was released it seemed to be a onetime solo collaboration of Glen Hansard and newcomer Marketa Irglova. However this album snowballed into the critically acclaimed movie Once and a romance bloomed between Glen and Marketa. Thus was born The Swell Season

The opener Amy LaVere was a complete surprise to me. Instead of maybe another Irish rock band we were presented with a very Tennessee rock band. I was also surprised on how much I liked it. Every member played beautifully, never missing a beat, playing tremendously good solos and seeming to have a good time. They played both original and covers; in fact, one of the best songs of the set was a version of Carla Thomas' That Beat Keeps Disturbing My Soul. This is truly a band that needs to be watched.

Let's be honest here. Glen and Marketa could have walked on stage, given a half-hearted performance straight through the Once soundtrack and walked off and they would have pleased the crowd. However, by any standard their performance was amazing. Although Marketa was clearly a bit more shy, Glenn with his years of experience talked to the crowd, told stories of where some of the songs come from, and they had a solid set with well known favorites and their more obscure work. They tried new arrangements even trading vocal parts for the song "All the Way Down." What was most interesting is the new music they introduced at the show. This gives us all hope that The Swell Season will be putting out more music in the future. And of course, Glenn and Marketa had quite the "awww" factor of being a rather cute couple.

Go see the movie Once if you can. It is kind of amazing.
Amy Lavere - That Beat (Anchors & Anvils)
The Swell Season - This Low (The Swell Season)
The Swell Season - Falling Slowly (The Swell Season)

- Jason

Update: you can download the show (by individual song) at The Q Speaks

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3 Responses to “Concert Review: The Swell Season @ 9:30 club”

  1. # Blogger Q

    It really was a phenomenal show. I chopped up NPR's recording of it and posted each of the songs for download, in case you are interested.


  2. # Blogger Markus

    Upcoming gig in Barbican theater London - 3/06/08. Sold out! One of very few this year in UK...
    Someone's flogging tickets on e-bay...  

  3. # Blogger Little Miss Random

    I have a ticket to the Barbican gig tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it as I have an exam this weekend which I desperately, desperately need to study for.

    I know a friend of mine who would not mind going in my place, but, unfortunately, reviews such as yours and SFist make my heart ache and I still can't decide whether I should just go because it's a once in a lifetime thing (no pun intended) or if I should let him go instead.


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