Tuesday, October 7, 2008

we have all the time in the world to get it right

the swell season, los angeles, october 4, 2008

the swell season concert was AMAZING. kristine and i got to the greek theatre (after a LONG but fun walk from our hotel in hollywood) just in time to buy t-shirts and get to our (second row!) seats for iron and wine. i got a shirt and colm's new cd, the hare's corner (which i highly recommend by the way. i'm listening to it now. perfect music for cold, windy nights when all you want to do is cuddle in your pajamas and read a good book). so here are some of my personal highlights and pictures (which will, as usual, probably end up not so much "highlights" as "a complete rundown of what megan remembers from the show." sorry. i'm not good at editing my thoughts)

into the mystic glen and marketa came out at exactly 8:50. (before i continue, i will note for the record that i feel stupid calling them by thier first names but what else should i call them?) i know because i looked at my watch right before that and gauged that i had enough time to go to the bathroom and make it back before the show started. i got out of my seat and started walking out when suddenly the lights dimmed and glen started singing. i love this song - everything about it; the joy it seems to bring to them to play it, the way their voices harmonize, i want to rock your gypsy soul... in the middle of the song, i'm pretty sure that someone yelled, "kiss her," and i'm equally sure that a few seconds later, glen smiled and said, "i think i just got what you said." after the song, someone yelled, "you look beautiful marketa and glen." and glen smiled again, and said "you're lucky you included glen in that." hehe. he never fails to entertain me.

the moon this song, along with sleeping, is my favorite song on the swell season. i love the way it starts out so quietly and ends up in another dimension with everyone on stage playing so hard that you wonder if the world is about to end. i think that it's easy to see that these musicians have become a band in every sense of the word. in fact, glen himself said that the frames had been at the point where they felt like they needed to take a break and try something else. and now what has happened? the swell season are touring, but the frames have become the band that are playing with them, so it's almost like the frames have just expanded to include marketa. on one hand, i'm kind of sad about that because even though i LOVE the swell season and adore just about anything glen hansard would want to do, the frames are one of my favorite bands and the thought of never seeing another FRAMES concert is a bit disconcerting... on to happier thoughts..

astral weeks my mental setlist is not in any order here, as this came later in the show. but, this song.. what can i say? i've seen videos and heard recordings of glen playing it, but i think that until you witness it in person you never quite believe the intensity that one human being can have. i've been to a fair amount of concerts, and i don't think that i've ever - excluding pearl jam, because i can never objectively consider them - seen another performer play his guitar like that. WOW. and when he sang, "will you kiss my eyes?" someone from the audience yelled, "yes!" (of course) quite enthusiastically, and glen smiled.

say it to me now glen came out onto the edge of the stage with no amplification for this one. i know that he does that a lot, but it is quite one thing to be in the 8th row during that song and another to be literally right underneath him. i snapped a picture and thought i might die.

new songs! after seeing glen and marketa in april, i wrote about how much i LOVE the new song she sings. time hasn't changed that. it's still beautiful. and i especially love the ending, when the song gradually fades until everyone on stage is singing, "always on my mind" in perfect harmony. gorgeous. another new song is called low rising, and i don't really know how to describe it except to say that i am falling in love with the sound of glen's guitar and marketa's piano. plus, as a girl particularly, i must confess an unexplainable love for the lyrics ("i want to drink with you all night until we both fall down") and the way that glen's voice has a teasing smile in it. sigh.. i just watched a video of that song on youtube so that i could get the lyrics right, and now it will be in my head all evening.

the hill this song by marketa opened the first encore. this is the song she sings in once when she and glen's character are alone in the recording studio. i never really thought much about this song on the album, but it really fit in a live setting. marketa really does have a beautiful voice and it is awesome to see her confident enough to take the stage by herself. not that i know much about the technical side of music, but i love watching her play piano during songs like when your mind's made up and fitzcarraldo.

mary poppins during the month they were in LA for the oscars, glen became friends with the man who wrote the music for mary poppins. he came out and played piano on that song-that-is-impossible-to-pronounce. i include it in my highlight list because it was absolutely awesome to watch how the rest of the band looked while they were playing with this man. it was like a mixture of "holy cow!" and "am i gonna get caught for sneaking into a party i wasn't invited to?" i can relate to that feeling..

my girl during the second to last song (fitzcarraldo), glen broke a string on his guitar, and while he was trying to fix it, someone else in the band started playing a bit of my girl. a guy who was sitting a few rows from me took out his harmonica and started playing along, and eventually glen and the audience joined in. it was just a great moment of audience-performer interaction.

my friend kristine commented that glen would not be out of place on a comedy stage. somewhere around here, he started talking about how sorry he was for the people that had listened to their soundcheck (don't be sorry you idiot. if i hadn't wanted to do all i could during my weekend in LA, i probably would have been camped out there listening) because they had played some bad, easy-listening songs from the 80s. then he started singing, "sailing, take me away..." haha. it was funny at the time.

people all get ready if there had to be a last song, this was a perfect one. it's almost unbearable when the entire audience sings along. this is one of those songs that i can believe in.
and we have all the time in the world to get it right
to get it right
and we have all the love in the world to set alight
to set alight
just look up

*sigh..*i take pen and paper with me to every pearl jam/swell season/frames show i go to, but not once have i remembered to take them out. i try to write things down when i get home, but we had such an ordeal getting a cab (seriously, i had no idea it could be that difficult to get ahold of a taxi company in a big city on a saturday night) that i crawled into bed as soon as we got back to our hotel. maybe i'll remember more later... all i know is that, during the third song (the moon), i turned to kristine and unequivocally said that this was one of the 5 best concerts i've ever seen.

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