My birthday celebrations were extended over several days. The day after my birthday, DH and I enjoyed a lovely italian dinner at our favorite neighborhood restuarant, followed by a concert. We saw Glenn Hansard & Marketa Irglova, billing themselves as "The Swell Season" in what was perhaps the most incredible concert of my life. Hansard projects unstoppable energy and enthusiasm. He is a songwriter's songwriter, passionate about his work and about music. I am reminded of Sting and Paul Simon.
The concert opened with Hansard singing acapella in the front of the stage, practically in the middle of the audience. Boy can he belt it out! As the concert progressed, he brought in Irglova and his back up band, former members of the Frames, to sing nearly all of their hits from the movie "Once."
The highlight of the concert had to be when Hansard brought out the Whitefish Bay 8th grade choir to help him sing the chorus of "Falling Slowly." Apparently the teens, or their teacher, had contacted him a few weeks prior for permission to sing the song. Not only did he say "Yes," he said, "Why not sing it live in front of a sold out audience?" He also had them help with a cover of the Pixies' "Gigantic" with its inappropriate lyrics. You have to love that Irish sense of humor.