Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jan 20th 2010 2:45PM by Ashley Iasimone
"Wherever we play, we've been trying to somehow, if we can -- it doesn't always work out -- sing a song from the region," Hansard told the crowd. "We're gonna try this song. It's the area, not New York. It's New Jersey. We're gonna try singing a Bruce Springsteen song just because it's the right place and right feel."
The band was joined by Jake Clemons, nephew of E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, on Springsteen's 'Drive All Night,' which they'd previously never performed.
"When we spoke about having some brass at the show tonight, the first thing that came into my head was, 'Oh my god, I want to play a Springsteen song with him. So here we are," said Hansard.
By the end of the song, Hansard had the audience enraptured in a singalong, directing them to "sing it for the Boss because he is the best." Those choral moments were a signature happening of the evening, as Hansard often orchestrated crowd participation. Hansard even engaged those at the very back of the venue's balcony to participate, admitting that he knows how they feel as he's always the last guy to buy a ticket to a gig, too.
"I'll never forget being a young lad and going to see Bruce Springsteen," Hansard said. "The excitement was so palpable, and everyone was booing. I was like, 'What's going on?' I was saying to my friend, 'What's happening?' He says, 'No, dude, they're saying Bruce.' That's what I tell myself now when people boo us -- they're just saying Bruce."
But Springsteen wasn't the only musician that the Swell Season paid tribute to at Radio City Music Hall. Out of their two-and-a-half hour set -- which included a variety of old and new material from the band, the Springsteen cover, a Van Morrison cover ('Astral Weeks') and plenty of storytelling, charm and sincerity -- the band dedicated two songs to the late Kate McGarrigle, including the closing number, the traditional Irish song 'The Parting Glass.'
'The Parting Glass' centers around the lyric, "Good night, and joy be with you all." As Hansard said mid-song, "What a pleasant state to be in when you die. What a pleasant position. No fear, no anger, no regrets and no jealousy."
The Swell Season are slated to perform at a benefit for Haiti on Jan. 20 at New York's City Winery, in the company of Patti Smith, Yo La Tengo and more.