Sunday night, The Swell Season played at the Paramount theater for a full house. Talented singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata warmed up the crowed as she played a 45-minute set. One could have never guessed that she once was part of the Chicago funk-funsion band Bumpus. In 2001 she departed the band and started her solo career. Her songs explore human relationships and on Sunday she also sang about boyfriends past and broken friendships. The next to last song she initially forgot her lyrics, but after some small talk with the audience form behind the grand piano she finished out her set with passion and conviction.
After a lengthy break, which included tuning the grand piano and moving every microphone on stage, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova—aka The Swell Season—came on stage. The stage lights were low and they were illuminated by a soft red glow as Marketa sat on the floor with her keyboard and Glen sat next to her with one knee bent playing his guitar. It’s amazing how serene and beautiful this duo sings, no wonder they got the 2008 Acadamy Award in the Best Original Song category for “Falling Slowly”. Next Marketa moved over to the grand piano and they gave the audience an amazing evening of uplifting songs. For those not familiar with The Swell season, Glen and Marketa stared in the movie Once, a captivating low budget indie Irish film with wonderful soundtrack.