I parted a sea of thousands to find what I was looking for.
Back in 2008, my love of live music was freshly sparked by a festival in Tulsa. Before long, Austin City Limits was at the top of my to-do list. I pored over the lineup. I didn’t want to miss a thing. A band called the Swell Season went from a maybe to an unmissable priority after I saw the movie “Once.” So, there I was. Just a few yards away from Markéta Irglová plunking piano keys and Glen Hansard singing lead and strumming away at his battered guitar. I don’t cry a lot in public, but I was moved to tears more than once. Maybe it was the gorgeous sunset in my eyes or the hours and hours of standing. But I bet it had something to do with the fact that even though the band amassed a huge crowd, it felt as if they were playing just to me. I mean, just listen to this.
I’ve kept up with Hansard’s various projects — from the Frames and Swell Season — to his recent run of solo records. I’m looking forward to his stop in Oklahoma City in support of “This Wild Willing” which was released via -ANTI in April. I’d say we should count ourselves lucky to get a chance to soak in the Irish singer-songwriter’s stage show. Here are a few reasons to check out the concert or get excited if you’re getting dragged to it.
Glen might bust out one a cover as good as this Van Morrison gem. Seriously, it sounds like a fireworks show when he starts strumming like a madman. Bonus points if you recognize the E Street Band’s Jake Clemons on sax.
I’m always wary of how a crowd will react to concerts that demand more of a listening room atmosphere. As far as local venues go, I’ve been impressed by how well-behaved Tower Theatre patrons are. Crowds are rarely perfect — and judging by the noisier moments on “The Wild Willing” it’ll get mighty loud at times — but I was impressed recently by the pin drop silence at The Milk Carton Kids and Mandolin Orange sets at Tower. Thank you in advance for taking any conversations outside the venue.
The Broadway adaptation of “Once” doesn’t match the intimacy of the movie, but it’s also a Tony worthy celebration of fantastic music.
Watch until the end of this to see the real Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard applauding the performance.
It’s hard for me not to focus on Glen’s work from “Once,” but there are some great cuts on his newest release.
Study up on the new material with this awesome session he did at Paste Studios in New York City.
Check out the pipes on opener Diana Demuth. I’m telling you, it’s almost always worth showing up early to see talent like this before it blasts off into outer space.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Poppe is a writer, photographer, videographer and documenter of all things Oklahoma.
He currently works as the Editor for The Curbside Chronicle and is available for selective freelance opportunities in the music and movie world. For example, Nathan somewhat recently documented the main stage at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion.
His work has led him to collaborate alongside some of the most talented people in his home state. Nathan garnered unique writing and production experience everywhere from his fellow editors at The Oklahoman to the ad agency VP’s at Ackerman McQueen. He has even survived filming Flaming Lips backstage tattoo parties and shooting an underwater music video.