Next week we’re going to see Glen Hansard, one of the best live performers currently touring, in concert. I first learned about Glen oddly from a conversation in college about comic books. Long before the X Men was a movie, we were discussing who they could cast in various roles, when a friend said they thought Glen would be excellent as Banshee. She told us about the Frames, dragged out a copy of Fitzcarraldo, and played “Revelate” for us. I enjoyed it, and picked up a copy myself, but had forgotten about Hansard and the Frames by the time Once came out, and brought him back to everyone’s attention.
Around the time that movie came out I finally saw him live while he was touring with Marketa Irglova, his partner in the Swell Season. Watching him live, I couldn’t believe this was the same performer I had heard on record. His passion as a singer and enthusiasm for performing comes through in a much different way when he performs live. He’s looser, more raw, and connects with every person in the hall. He’s also wickedly funny and a fantastic storyteller. Watching him even in large venues, he has the ability to make you feel you’re actually watching him in a bar, or on a street corner. You feel a part of a lucky few, rather than one of hundreds or thousands. It’s the kind of passionate performance and connection with an audience that fosters loyalty and breeds proselytes (blog posters, for example). The video above is him covering Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks”, a song he absolutely tears into live. As we head into the weekend, I hope you enjoy watching this, and if you see Glen performing near you, get yourself a ticket.