Exciting Saturday Night

A curse incurred when I won Rufus Wainwright tickets the night Lara was supposed to come visit. (To make a long story short, I contemplated ditching Lara to go see Teddy Thompson and Rufus Wainwright, but in the end I did the right thing and surrendered the tickets. Though I still pick on Lara and tell her how much I would have LOVED to see that show.) Before the RW debacle, I'd won every single time I called in. After the RW debacle, in which Lara obviously cast a slowing spell on my cell phone speed dial - nothing for months. But a couple weeks ago I finally scored some tickets, and good ones at that: The Swell Season at the Wiltern. The Swell Season is the touring name of the artists from the movie Once, which is a lovely little film about music - sort of an indie-rock musical. (There's a great radio story about them at NPR, which a live recording.) The opener was none other than Martha Wainwright, Rufus's sister. I fully believe that the curse was broken because a Wainwright was involved, though Lara swears it's because we went to visit them in San Diego.

Unfortunately, the show was scheduled for Saturday night. I didn't process that in my impetuous decision to frantically redial the KCRW number 800 times until I got through. Thoughtful processing does not win one radio tickets; impetuous and frantic action does. Ben and I have braved Saturday night concerts in the past, one time rolling home near 2:00am, only to be awakened by the Sunday morning alarm at 6:00am. I could do that sort of thing before another living person inhabited my body, but now I have to pace myself a little more carefully. We decided to go, with a few caveats: I had to take a nice long nap Saturday night, and we just had to be home by 11:00pm, no matter how much we'd like to stay through to the end.

First of all, the Wiltern is such a cool venue. I love theaters with gorgeous ceilings. They do not, however, have enough women's restrooms. The first thing I have to do anywhere is visit the ladies', and I stood in a long line of very hip women feeling acutely aware of my girth, lack of makeup, and dowdy maternity clothes. I felt much more in my element when we were finally seated in the ADA section, which was populated by many a large pregnant lady.

While we were waiting for the seats, we stood in the back. After the Martha Wainwright set ended (of which we saw little, thanks to the long line at the bathroom), the lights were on. First we saw David Denman, the dude who plays Roy on the Office, which of course made us happy because it's always fun to see a celebrity you really like (on the way home, I commented that I would not have been remotely as excited to encounter, say, Burt Reynolds, who may be more famous, but is definitely not my celebrity-sighting-type). Then a few minutes later, Jenna Fischer - a.k.a. PAM!! - walks by right in front of us. Again, uber-cool for Office fans. (NB: The Wiltern has a screen onstage in between sets, to which people may send text messages. Someone texted "Pam is dogging Jim with Roy tonight!!!" Hee hee.)

The Swell Season finally came on - at first Glen Hansard by himself, and then with Marketa and the band. I really, really loved it. The sound was great, and even the handful of songs that aren't really my cup of tea were excellent live. We heard some of my favorites from the movie, including "Falling Slowly," which is just such a beautiful song I can hardly handle it. The strings - cello and violin - were gorgeous. GH is sort of a geek - he would go on these long tangents in his Irish accent about what the songs were about - but a geek in the most endearing of ways.

We left right after "Falling Slowly," and made it home a little before 11:00pm. It's tough to be so responsible, especially in the presence of lovely music.

Thumbs up to good celebrity sightings, The Wiltern, the Swell Season, and relatively-well rested Sunday mornings.

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