I saw Glen Hansard in concert at the Beacon Theater last Friday night. I've seen him a few times now and he still exceeds my expectations every time. He's a gifted musician and storyteller, but he's also hardworking, grateful, and genuine. Most songs were prefaced with "this is for my friend ..." and a little story about an old friend about to make a big decision, or a new friend he just met today. He even invited musical friends he'd met earlier that evening on stage to close the show (something it seemed he was in no hurry to do, once he'd already paid the fine to Beacon for going over the allotted time.) The crowd listened intently, smiling at the rambles and curses, returning well wishes for his friends, singing along when invited (Hansard obviously pulls a very musical audience because the harmonies were really beautiful), and leaving a few hours later, warmed and sated—after spending a lovely evening with a good friend.
Hansard dedicated Song of Good Hope to his friend Ezra, a bike maker and close friend in New York who was diagnosed with cancer; for a while it looked bad for Ezra, but he is now back on his bike to good health. It's a lovely song of hope for anyone sailing rocky waters."And take your time babe,
Sing it with me:
Sing it with me:
It's not as bad as it seems,
You'll be fine babe,
It's just some rivers and streams,
In between, you and where you want to be,
Watch the signs now,
You'll know what they mean,
You'll be fine now,
Just stay close to me,
And may good hope, walk with you through everything."
Pardon the iPhone camera quality and the woman in front of me coughing right when you are wishing good hope on everyone you know (and I am wishing a collapsed lung on a stranger).
Buy Glen Hansard's new album, Rhythm and Repose on Amazon.com