Glen Hansard serenaded the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. (Flavia Schaub)
When I was 17 years old, I dated this girl who loved romantic indie films. One of her favorite films happened to be Once, starring Glen Hansard. I remember the soundtrack being quite mellow but a great nonetheless. Last night, Hansard took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl with Iron & Wine and the Head and the Heart, both equally amazing acts.
The evening started off with Sam Beam, better known as Iron & Wine, taking the stage with his acoustic guitar. He introduced himself and apologized for interrupting our dinners. He joked, saying to think of it as our dinner entertainment for the night. He started off his set with a song chosen by the audience, “Southern Anthem,” and continued onto a selection of his own, “Boy with a Coin.” Beam ended up playing out his short set this way, going back and forth with the crowd. It was a very formal intimate set that didn’t include his cover of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights,” which I was hoping to hear.
After a brief intermission, the next band took the stage. I was unfamiliar with the Head and the Heart’s music, so I was very excited to see what they had to offer. To my surprise, they were an upbeat transition from Iron & Wine. I’m going to keep it brief on the Head and the Heart. What I gathered from their performance: founding member, vocalist/guitarist/percussionist Josiah Johnson, grew up in Los Angeles, and they play kick-ass music.
Now it was time to take a nostalgic trip back to my high-school romances: Hansard was set to take the stage. He came out to a cheering crowd, alone, save for his acoustic guitar. Without saying a word, he started strumming away on his guitar like it owed him money. I wasn’t expecting such a powerful intro, seeing as how my only experience with Hansard was with his previous band the Swell Season.
After the first song, Hansard was joined by the rest of his band. He introduced his next track, “Talking with the Wolves,” saying he wrote it based off his favorite book, Ask the Dust, by John Fante. Then Hansard played some more hits, one of them being “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” which was featured in the movie Once.
Unfortunately Hansard’s time was cut short which he announced by saying a light came on that said, “You’re done!” Hansard said, “Screw that,” and closed out the set with one last song, “The Auld Triangle,” which originated in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland. Hansard had many guests come out to help sing this song, the first being Chris O’Dowd, who some of you may know as Officer Rhodes in the movie Bridesmaids. Other guests during this song included Sam Beam, the vocalists of the Head and the Heart and even Hansard’s guitar technician.