Once Is Not Enough

The Swell Season brings stirring songs to the Fillmore.

Perhaps in Miami, they'll pull out some 2 Live Crew or KC & the Sunshine Band. "That's a good one," he says with a laugh. "KC & the Sunshine Band would be fantastic. Thanks — you've just given me an idea."

Whether Hansard takes us up on the dare is anyone's guess. What's certain, however, is that he and Irglová will perform much of the keen sonic wonder that is Strict Joy. It's an incredibly accomplished album, and it also happens to find the Swell Season expanding its sound beyond its initial pining quietude. So expect a certain soar to the proceedings when the two swing into town.

But the Fillmore is only one of several world stages they'll hit before the year ends. Also on tap are Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the Hollywood Bowl, and London's Royal Albert Hall. And though it's an admittedly intimidating array of venues, Hansard knows just how to handle that kinda situation.

"We played the Royal Albert before, and that was incredible. It was quite intimidating, to be honest. There are very few rooms in the world where the room is a bigger star than you are," he says. "But like anything that's legendary, you have to have a little touch of disrespect for it, just a healthy amount. And you've gotta sorta go, 'Fuck you. I'm here to do my thing, and this room is mine tonight.'"

And if the Swell Season can conquer the Royal Albert, surely it'll take on the Fillmore Miami Beach too. After all, both venues have seen some of our most inspired performers take their stages. And each is suitably hallowed ground for a sound that's at once winsome and wily, intimate and divine.

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