Concert review: The Swell Season at Clowes Hall, Nov. 2 

It seemed I was in luck. Situated in Row M, there was no one in front of me to block the view. Many a time I've had someone in front of me wearing their spanking best hat - or sporting one of those stylish cuts that looks nonchalant with their hair sticking up in a quasi-mohawk.

The concert started, and I felt my eye being pierced by a shaft of light. A couple seats down a man was holding his iPhone on his thigh, his hand only barely covering its lit face. Soon I realized that he was recording the concert. I pondered what to do, and when I cast my eyes stageward as The Swell Season was swinging into their second song, I spied a dozen or so cameras and cellphones held aloft, videotaping the concert. Little spotlights of distraction all in front of me, bathing not just the Holders of Technology in bluish light, but the surrounding people.

Close eyes again. Concentrate on music. Glen Hansard is now playing by himself. The power and energy of that guy is unbelievable. Oh look (eyes open): His guitar appears as if boll weevils or locusts had at it! That's the guitar he used in that movie! Boy, that film was over-rated, really, I mean, all those stars from all those critics... Am I the only guy that thought it was a little schlocky? Still it was evocative, and I love that song, "Falling Slowly" and maybe, maybe Glen and Marketa will get back together again!

Glen and Marketa are surrounded by The Frames, and the music is great, but all I really want is to hear Glen reach down deep into that prodigious gullet of his and pull out the fractals of pain and love and loss and hope and hold them to the light and let them shatter like a chandelier exploded from within, so that tiny shards can separate and split and get smaller and smaller but never disappear, like a polymer, like the plastic in the ocean that forms giant islands that never go away, but are in fact ingested by birds and fish and marine mammals whose own gullets are clogged and they can no longer eat... let alone fulcrum their own shards of pain and love and loss and hope and I blink, spellbound, because all the screens in front of me are shut.

Stand, Jim. There's an ovation for these great musicians and then when the encore begins, everybody knows what it's going to be. "Falling Slowly"... just the two of them, Glen and Marketa, the boy meets/loses girl in art and then in life... incredible... wow.

I love this song. If there was only some way that I could record it.

Just this once.

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Jim Poyser

Jim Poyser

Jim Poyser is Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, a statewide organization that was one of over two dozen nonprofit partners in Greening the Statehouse. A former managing editor of NUVO, he won HEC’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2013.

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