Glen Hansard, armed with a weathered acoustic guitar and an ear-to-ear grin, walked onto the fully lit stage of Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall and addressed the 6,000 faces assembled in the cavernous space.
"Can you hear me okay?" asked the knowingly unmiced performer. The echoes of "No!" that rang from the audience didn't stop the Irish singer from launching into a spirited, unamplified rendition of "Say It To Me Now." The song grew from a modest whisper to a pleading scream that reached even the "cheap" seats.
From the outset last Monday, Hansard and his Czech-born partner Marketa Irglova, who won songwriting Oscars this year for the musical romance "Once," made a point of treating Radio City like a quaint club venue.