The Swell Season returned to a sold out Radio City Music Hall last night (1/19), playing a long set of new and older songs along with a few incredible covers that had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands.
Josh Ritter opened the show while the crowd was still rolling in. He played a brief six song set - three songs from his upcoming album, to be released in May, and three older songs (Rumors, Girl in the War, To the Dogs or Whoever). The crowd was appreciative, but a longer set certainly would've won over the portion of the audience unfamiliar with his music. He will return to New York to play Town Hall on May 20th (tix on AmEx Presale).
The Swell Season's set started with Glen and Marketa sitting on the floor as they played "Fallen from the Sky". After a few songs, the rest of the band, consisting of members of the Frames joined them. After another set of songs, Glen took the stage solo. He unplugged his guitar and walked away from the mic to the front of the stage to sing "Say It to Me Now". He followed up with an incredible cover of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks", playing the guitar so powerfully that it seemed as if his battle scarred guitar was going to explode.
A Swell Season show is known just as much for Glen's storytelling between songs as it is for the music. It is rare to see a band so genuinely happy to be on stage, and humbled by the adoration they receive from the crowd. Their sets usually feature several cover songs and plenty of requests for the audience to participate in the singing. Aside from the Astral Weeks cover, they also played Springsteen's Drive all night with Clarence Clemons' nephew on sax. Two songs were dedicated to Kate McGarrigle, and the show closed with "Red Chord", a Frames song, into "The Parting Glass", a traditional Irish song made famous by The Clancy Brothers. Even after a two and a half hour set, the crowd left happy but wanting more.
The Swell Season
Swell Season Radio City Music Hall - 1/19/2010 - Setlist:
Fallen From the Sky
Feeling the Pull
In These Arms
If You Want Me
Say It To Me Now
Astral Weeks (Van Morrison Cover)
The Court of Newton (Violin solo by Colm Mac Con Iomaire)
I Have Loved You Wrong
Drive All Night (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Go With Happiness
When Your Mind's Made Up
Red Chord/The Parting Glass