Monday, April 06, 2015

Damien Rice @ Beacon Theatre 4/4/2015

This weekend Damien Rice returned to New York City, and even though I'd just seen him last November, I couldn't resist going again. And I'm sure glad I did: even though much of the set list was the same, the show itself was dramatically different and full of surprises.

Since he's essentially performing alone with no band, Rice can really keep you on your toes during his performances. He can completely change a song's tempo from verse-to-verse (as he did with "Volcano"), he can extend a song's ending and jam for a few extra minutes (as he did with "9 Crimes" and "I Remember"), or he can invite guests on stage to sing with him (which he did more of in the previous show; this show was mostly solo). And with these little adjustments, Damien Rice makes absolutely sure that no two shows of his are ever identical.

This show gave me a few of my personal favorites that didn't happen last year, such as "Cheers Darlin'" and "The Greatest Bastard." But the biggest surprise of all was at the end, when Glen Hansard took the stage to a thunderous applause. Hansard performed "High Hope" on his own, and then joined Rice for an a cappella cover of "Chelsea Hotel #2," a Leonard Cohen song. Here's the complete set list:
  1. My Favourite Faded Fantasy
  2. 9 Crimes
  3. Colour Me In
  4. It Takes a Lot to Know a Man
  5. Delicate
  6. I Don't Want To Change You
  7. Cheers Darlin'
  8. Elephant
  9. I Remember
  10. The Blower's Daughter
  11. Long Long Way
  12. Volcano
  13. The Greatest Bastard
  14. High Hope (Glen Hansard solo)
  15. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Leonard Cohen cover a cappella duet with Glen Hansard)
This show flew. I wasn't keeping track of the amount of songs I'd heard, and when the house lights came on at the end, I couldn't believe it was over already. Like the previous show, however, I left the theater feeling inspired, motivated, and changed. I honestly can't choose between this show and the previous one if I had to pick a favorite. It's almost as if instead, the two performances go together, and create one single concert that's probably the best one I've ever seen.

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