- 04 Nov 21
Glen Hansard returned to the Dublin stage for the first time since the pandemic, to make his NCH headline show debut on October 28.
Marking his first Dublin show with a live audience in almost two years, Glen Hansard’s pared-back opening songs of the evening (‘Bird of Sorrow’ and ‘The Moon’) didn’t prepare the mask-wearing audience for what was to come.
Sitting solo on stage, Glen takes a moment to check in with the audience. He acknowledges the significance of the evening as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic and sincerely reassures us of the safety measures in place.
Two Frames classics liven up the National Concert Hall as the audience relax into the night. Hansard delivers ‘Revelate’ and’ Lay Me Down’ with such passion and conviction that it's clear these hits haven't lost any meaning for him or his fans.
After taping his well worn out digits, Hansard dedicates an intimate performance of ‘My Little Ruin’ to a dear friend who has, time and time again, "thrown a grenade on his own happiness”.
Dedicated to “the wonderful Markéta Irglová,” ‘Falling Slowly’ had the audience swooning, with one fan emphatically shouting at Hansard to “get them off.”
Hansard steers the focus to his very good friend Lisa O’Neill. Sitting in the audience, Hansard tells of his admiration of the Cavan songstress, penning his 2015 track ‘McCormack's Wall’ in her honour.
Hansard’s first on-stage guests of the evening had the audience whispering in confusion. Two baby-faced teenage boys dressed as miniature paramilitaries launched into a lively version of ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’.
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Afterwards, Hansard introduced the boys as his neighbours who’d recently joined him on stage in Belfast where the boys were given the costumes along with the fireworks they bought for Halloween.
Feeling slightly less confused, the audience warmly welcomed Lisa O’Neill to the stage for a beautiful rendition of ‘Raglan Road.’ O’Neill performs solo next, singing a James Stephens' poem she put to music, ‘I Am Writer.’ A seamless integration that could easily pass as an O’Neill original.
Hansard’s next on stage guest is a Christmas busk regular, Philip Powell. Opening with a self-penned number, Powell delights the audience with an unexpected performance of George Michael’s ‘Faith’.
Keeping us guessing, Hansard invites another old friend to the stage, Kerry native Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich. You could hear a pin drop as Ó Beaglaoich treated us to a haunting performance of ‘James Connolly’. The reverence and surrounding elegance of the National Concert Hall truly showcased the power and beauty of the ballad.
Joined back on stage by Kíla’s Rónán Ó Snodaigh and the rest of his barnstorming crew, Glen Hansard sees out a very special evening with a heartwarming singsong of Brendan Behan’s ‘The Auld Triangle’. A hugely enjoyable evening all-round.
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