Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Musicalia: Iron & Wine and Glen Hansard - Paramount Theatre, Austin, TX - 7/27/09

Holy shit.

That succinctly sums up what an experience this past evening's show was.

From the onset, Glen Hansard of The Frames, Swell Season, Once, and The Commitments fame held the audience breathless.

If you've never seen Hansard in any of his endeavors, you can't really know how great he is live. Here is a taste, and this is a slightly subdued version of a song that he performed tonight.

Now, he opened with "When Your Mind's Made Up" (a version with Marketa Irglova embedded here),

and I got chills and started to get choked up. I don't know what it is about that song for me, but it fucks my shit up.

Past the overwhelming raw emotion often on display while he's singing, Hansard has this innate affability in his on-stage persona that makes you feel like you're watching your best friend up there. In the middle of songs, he'd break out and ask the crowd to sing along, or he bridged a tune into "Where is My Mind?" seemingly off the cuff.

By the end of the show, I had tried to convince myself that he had bought Jackie and I drinks in Dublin. In just a short time on stage, he inserts himself into your past and makes it feel as though he is family.

This man is a nearly impossible act to follow.

But Sam Beam came up and after starting off with the capo a fret off, worked into a set including "Upward Over The Mountain" (which I think I've seen four different times four different ways)

"The Woman King", "He Lay in the Reins", and "The Trapeze Swinger" amongst many others.

Now I don't know if he ever plays songs exactly as they appear on the albums, if this

is any sort of indicator, but each time you see him it seems like you are being re-introduced to each of his songs.

His continued assertion as to his jerkdom only further endeared him to the crowd, and his admission that he kind of zones out whenever women talk about having children while performing for the Midwives Alliance of North America played very well, as his own wife is a midwife and was in the crowd. Comments about being goofy on stage and a sure-to-be-coming divorce followed shortly thereafter.

Perhaps the best thing about the show was that both men played acoustic, something each does less and less. Closing with a pseudo-duet of "Pancho and Lefty" certainly didn't hurt their cause either.

Now, here's to hoping that both sets of tonight's show end up on Played Last Night.


Anonymous said...

Well, its no "Lightning Crashes"

Old Man Duggan said...

I believe you meant:

Well, it's no "Lightning Crashes"

KRD said...

Do you know anyone who was at that Stubb's show? I was there. It was amazing. I cried through the whole thing. And then it had the best. ending. ever.

Also, I want to thank you for changing the picture. It got to the point that I wanted to punch my computer screen every time I came here. Please, please, please don't ever put up a perma-pic of Mark Linn Baker circa 1989 ever again. Please and thank you.

Old Man Duggan said...

I do not know anyone who was at that Stubb's show, aside from you, apparently. For a second, I thought you were maybe talking about the Calexico/Iron & Wine show, but then I figured out what you were talking about. The Hansard's pretty goddamn great.

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