Last night, I was privileged enough to be a part of a small group of local bloggers that got to meet and talk with Glen Hansard before his beautifully intimate concert at the Shedd Aquarium's oceanarium.
In the 600 seconds I was sitting at the table with him and 3 others, just chatting and laughing, I fell madly in Like with Glen. His heart, depth and kindness is obvious and evident in his music, but in person? It positively shines through his blue eyes and contagious smile. We learned about his Chicago connections and early performances in Chicago's pubs like Schuba's, Uncommon Ground and Gunther Murphy's. He talked with the tenderest concern for the dolphins and belugas that were in the enclosure behind the space he was going to perform in; he worried that they were disturbed by the volume and frequency of his music. Wendy reassured him that these animals are used to daily shows with way more noise than he would produce. After chatting and laughing and being completely charmed by Glen, we said goodby and were escorted out to await the show.
I have been to many concerts in my life but I can honestly say that I cannot remember a single one that was nearly as touching as last night's was. His music is lovely on video and recording but to watch him Live is quite a profound experience. Glen was fully invested in every single song and played them as though it was the first and last time he'd ever sing them. He engaged the audience on a personal level so that everyone felt as though he was singing directly to them (though we all know he was singing directly to me...). It seemed as though he held nothing back; emotionally or physically.
I don't feel as though I'm doing justice to his performance with these small words on this small blog, but trust me when I say that I would, IN A HEARTBEAT, see Glen Hansard in concert anytime. In fact, upon arriving home last night, I immediately looked to see if he was performing in Chicago again before he leaves. He is. And... it's sold out... This is a bummer but I am so happy for everyone who will be able to attend tonight. Truly: you're in for a beautiful performance.
Just a tidbit of his version of "Get Up Stand Up" before I put the video camera down. I like to WATCH, not record... (Sorry for my background vocals!)
His tour continues across North America for most of the fall and then ends in Europe in December. There are still tickets available according to his site but I have a feeling that this new album (which is freaking AMAZING) will sell out most concerts so get if you want tickets, act fast!
*Thank you MasterCard for the ticket! Though the ticket and chance to meet Glen Hansard were provided by MasterCard, I was not compensated or obligated to write about this in any way. See more MasterCard Priceless Experiences here... Thank you also to Hope Bertram from Digital Megaphone for including me in on this opportunity! You rock my world. :)