The first time I saw Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová perform was a year ago at NYU Cantor Center after a sneak preview of Once. To say I loved it would be an understatement. Anyway, afterwards we stuck around for a Q&A with writer/director John Carney and the two stars (who were unknown to me at the time). They were really humble. Irglová seemed nervous and barely spoke even when asked questions. Then they performed a couple of songs from the movie with Hansard’s (now-famous I’d reckon) broken guitar. It was really cool. They invited everyone to go to a bar afterwards but it was a Lost night and you know me.
To see them performing at Radio City Music Hall a year later is kind of surreal. Clearly they thought it was surreal as well, especially Hansard who opened the show singing “Say It To Me Now” acoustic and away from the microphone. Throughout the night they did songs from the movie, The Swell Season album and a couple of Frames songs. They did two Van Morrison covers (“Astral Weeks” and “Into The Mystic”, both which were amazing and garned standing ovations). Irglová got her sister on stage and they sang “Gently Johnny” from the original The Wicker Man soundtrack (when she was on stage and said they were going to sing a song from The Wicker Man, I turned to my friend and said “Oh no, not the creepy song!).
My favorite moment of the night was when they were singing Star, Star (a Frames tune) and turned it into “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
They played until midnight almost. They just didn’t want to get off stage. I don’t blame them.
It was an amazing show. If they are coming to your city, buy tickets! They are playing at at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on September 17, 2008. Tickets are on sale now.
*Photo from Brooklyn Vegan