Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová Reunite the Swell Season on St. Patrick’s Day at the Beacon Theatre
March 18, 2022
The Swell Season – Beacon Theatre – March 17, 2022
It’s been 15 years since the Irish film Once was released, starring the former couple of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The movie was a time capsule of their brief romance that eventually led to a lasting deep friendship. The story of unrequited love won an Oscar for Best Original Song, “Falling Slowly,” and went on to Broadway as a stage adaptation garnering eight Tonys in 2012. Reuniting onstage to perform their first shows in more than a decade, the pair played selections from their partnership as the Swell Season, from the film and from their own individual releases, coincidentally on St. Patrick’s Day at the Beacon Theatre.
Hansard took to the stage commencing with “The Rocky Road to Dublin” by the High Kings before announcing a surprise opener, Evangeline Young. The headliners soon followed with Irglová taking to the mic first for “If You Want Me.” She then moved to the proverbial backseat as Hansard took lead on “When Your Mind’s Made Up” and “Sleeping.” The crowd took to his charisma, and Irgolvá’s backing would almost go unheard over the Irishman’s bold crooning. Moments when the quieter half of the duo took lead for her individual effort, “My Roots Go Deep” felt especially enthralling—a welcome dichotomy to her partner’s octave-leaping howls. The two were best when they complemented each other on “Lies” and a soaring cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”
Hansard traveled to the edge of the stage to belt the Frames fave “Say It to Me Now” acoustic. They would close the set with Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly” and a cover of Interference’s “Gold,” which was featured on the Once soundtrack. The pair returned for an encore, which included surprise guest and recent New York City resident Dermot Kennedy, who sang “Days Like This.” To wrap up the evening for St. Patrick’s Day, Hansard led the room with a cover of the Dubliners’ “The Auld Triangle,” with Frames and Swell Season guitarist Joe Doyle, tech man Simon and Irglová all taking turns. Two very talented singers also took later verses, and the room swelled for the final chorus. —Sharlene Chiu | @Shar0ck
Photo courtesy of Sachyn Mital | www.sachynmital.com