Preview: Marketa Irglova & Glen Hansard of Swell Season w/ Lizzie Weber

In 2006, Glen Hansard, frontman of the Irish rock band The Frames, and Czech pianist Marketa Irglova agreed to record music for an independent Irish film. In addition to writing and recording the soundtrack, they also ended up playing the leading roles. Once, filmed in Dublin over 17 days with a budget of $150,000, premiered at Sundance in 2007 and won the World Cinema Audience Award before going on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song with “Falling Slowly.” Now we have a chance to welcome in the Oscar and eight-time Tony Award-winning duo Swell Season on Monday, August 21, 2023

Hansard and Irglova formed the indie-folk duo Swell Season after the launch of the film and charmed audiences on the road with their award-winning formula of heartfelt songs of struggle, love, and loss. In 2009, they released their second full-length album Strict Joy which reached #15 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The following year the duo went on an extended hiatus to work on separate solo projects. But Once, the little independent Irish film that could, kept building momentum. In 2012, it was adapted into a Broadway musical that won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Hansard and Irglova have reunited for a limited tour (a belated 15th Anniversary celebration of the success of Once) which includes a stop at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre. They’ve also released the deeply personal duet “The Answer Is Yes,” their first song together in more than a decade. The song tells the story of their strong bond, despite their past struggles as a duo. We have a rare opportunity to see Swell Season perform favorites from the Once soundtrack, Swell Season hits, and maybe even a few songs from their solo catalogs. Before you go, rewatch the film. It’s definitely worth seeing again. The soundtrack is timeless.

Opening is singer-songwriter Lizzy Weber. The St. Louis native will reconnect with Irglova with whom she recorded two songs in 2018. Weber is touring in support of her recently released album Fidalgo. Inspired by the Cormac McCarthy novel, Blood Meridian, Weber penned a song by the same name that captures the novel’s eerie gloom. Though the record isn’t limited to dark literary themes, “Be Your Love” and “Yours and Mine” evoke a Mazzy Star-styled dream-pop sensuality. She’ll be a great pairing with Swell Season. Indeed, this season at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre has certainly been swell.

Who: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

What: Swell Season

Where: Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre

When: Monday, August 21, 2023

Tickets and info:

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John Nelson
John Nelson
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

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