I didn't know who was opening for Damien Rice until the morning of the show when I finally found it on the Paramount Theater website. I didn't recognize the name of the band. The website advertised that The Swell Season were opening the evening. When I googled them, I discovered it was Glen Hansard's solo project. I'm still not sure whether the band (Glen and his pianist Markéta Irglová) was called Swell Season or whether that's just the name of the album. When I bought the album from iTunes, the artist is "Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová with Marja Tuhkanen and Bertrand Galen," Wikipedia says Glen & Markéta, but their myspace profile is The Swell Season. I'm not going to dwell on it. Glen Hansard, if you're not familiar, is the singer and guitar player in the Irish band The Frames. He also played one of the lead roles in The Commitments, little trivia for you. Photo not from Oakland Show [Photo credit to Jana, taken at the Ceske Budejovice show in the Czech Republic on July 25, 2005]At one point in the show Glen Hansard starts to tell a story about a friend of his who is a bit of a psychic or a ghost whisperer of sorts. One night a spirit manifest itself in tis woman's husband and when she "whispered" to the ghost to identify itself, her husband said in a different voice than his own "We come from the dark." If you don't get chills just reading that, I promise you'd have had them that night. Hansard went on to tell the story that there were two spirits and they were brothers. They were physically handicapped kids from 16th century Ireland. Glen explained that the handicapped in the 16th century were usually killed for being different and my other research explained the church would kill handicapped kids because they believed their souls too were handicapped and lost. Well, these two brothers had been walking since their deaths in the 16th century toward a light in the distance. When they finally reached the light it was the back of the ghost whisperer's husband's eyes. It was a captivating story whether you believe in that sort of thing or not. The album is remarkable and the performance was solid and they convinced more than me of that. I saw several people leave during the intermission and come back with the Swell Season CD I had purchased that morning.
I recommend picking up the album and if not the album, definitely "Leave" and "This Low"
Buy The Swell Season
Buy The Frames music (iTunes).