Conor Masterson From his busking days to his current success, Swell Season and…
- Posted on Nov 21st 2010 5:30PM by Emily Tan
Emily Tan for AOL
While Glen Hansard is more recently known for his 2008 Oscar win for co-writing 'Falling Slowly' and being one-half of the folk duo the Swell Season, his first band the Frames is what has made this singer and songwriter a legend in the Irish rock scene. So when the band celebrated their 20-year anniversary, it was obvious that Hansard was overwhelmed by the heroes' welcome he, Colm Mac Con Imoaire, Joe Dole, Rob Bochnik and Graham Hopkins got at New York City's Terminal 5.
With six studio albums and a number of live records under their belt, it was only fitting that the Frames take their devotees on a journey through their musical history. Kicking off the show with 'God Bless Mom' from 2003's 'The Set List,' it immediately felt as if the band has been playing continuously throughout the years -- though Hansard admitted they were still getting back into their Frames groove. "We haven't played for a long time, and we're finding our feet a bit," he said.
Showing the versatility of their sound as well as how much they've grown as musicians throughout the years, the Frames kept the momentum interesting by switching up the tempo from full-blown rock to gentler emotional ballads through their two-hour set with the audience. Between the striking opening chords to the final shimmering crescendo, the audience sang all along. Hansard, the band's main songwriter, even revealed what inspired some of his older music, 'Lay Me Down' -- a song he wrote at 16 for a gothic girl he fell for but didn't release 'till its inclusion in 2001's 'For the Birds.'
"I was packing boxes and pushing carts when I was 16, and the whole time I had a lady on my mind," He said. "And the whole point of the present was to say I love you but say it cooler because I was 16 and intense. I wanted to say something to her that meant something. [And] this song became part of the gift [for her] and later became the apology."
Since it was the Frames anniversary show, they made it even more special when Hansard invited Swell Season bandmate and 'Falling Slowly' co-star Marketa Irglova onstage to play piano on the inspiring ballad 'Rise,' which the band dedicated to devoted fan and "our friend" Karen, who Hansard explained came to every Frames show they have played in New York since their first visit. Although Hansard was more than happy to banter between songs and respond to the random, emphatic outbursts by Irish fans throughout the crowd, many of the songs flowed from one to the next seamlessly, making the show progress quicker than the fans expected.
So when the band finished their set around 10:35pm, everyone felt that their night was only beginning. And, to deafening applause, the Frames agreed and came back for four encores. While everyone was reveled in the Frames' selections for the evening, no one expected them to actually bring out a new song, especially one they just wrote earlier that day.
"So we stewed together a song today, and Joe [Doyle]'s going to sing it," Hansard announced.
And although Doyle admitted he was scared to lead the tune, the bittersweet love song, tentatively titled 'You Can't Hide Your Love,' hardly sounded like it was only written hours before they were to play their show.
After their New York show, the Frames have six more stops on their eight-city US tour and will continue on to Washington, D.C. on Nov. 11 then end their stint on American soil on Nov. 30 in Los Angeles.
Additional reporting by DJ Lanphier