I have seen Glen perform a couple of times and I am always so impressed with his comfortable stage presence.
is an honest outpouring of emotions that’s lodged in a time warp, where women are nameless and relationships feel like prison.
The contradictions, the frailties, the warts and blisters of love and loss are unveiled.
While honouring the days of American rock gone by, it doesn’t sound overdone or aged but it’s a warm tribute to the artists who have undoubtedly influenced a generation of songwriters.
Lyrically, Hansard either has one eye on the exit sign or has his foot slamming down on the accelerator, which, to some people, may capture the perfect complexities of romantic relationships, but for those that see through the bitty excuses people serve during a break-up, eyes will most certainly roll.
E Street Radio, the US radio station dedicated to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, is mentioned as his chosen driving soundtrack (in his beatdown Cadillac) on treads a thin line between romanticised masculinity – picture him with a guitar slung over his back and nowhere to go but the open road – and the outdated template of hegemonic masculinity, where women are referred to as “girl” or “woman”, as we hear Hansard sing on .
He’s forever in battle with himself, agonising over staying in love and feeling stuck or being single and roaming free, but love and life aren’t easily placed into those separate categories and this mindset feels as stuck in a rut as the love story he’s narrating.
Rhythm And Repose, The Swell Season, Didn’t He Ramble), just to let it grow into the blasting soundscape of a big band.
Glen interspersed the set with anecdotes on the songs’ making, with birthday greetings for Paula Hughes and Joe Doyle, with a guest appearance and with lots of humour, of course.
The evening concluded with a beautiful unplugged rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Passing Through”. I can't believe how lucky I was to see Glen and all the other legends on stage last night, a night I'll never forget.
And, what a venue, beautiful place, perfect acoustics, and not a bad seat in the house, intimate as can be.
The first few songs from the new album (This Wild Willing) were stirring with an angry undercurrent but transitioned into quieter ones with mercurial ease.