I was a precocious child, or just depressed enough as a middle school kid to really love Damien Rice some ten years ago. I discovered his music through Mike Nichols' film, Closer (also one of my favorite movies and a testament to what a melancholy kid I was). The opening and closing song "Blower's Daughter."
He was always good in recording, hardly ever gets old on those blue days, but damn he is SO good live it hurt. His voice is full and dense yet so precarious it cuts through air like a solid object. There's something about the way his voice trembles that says he's never going to fully recover from the thing he's tortured by. His songs are very public confessions of very intimate thoughts. Like many artists', but the way he does it is so desperate.
This was my third time seeing him live, each time I inched closer to the stage, and finally this time, thanks to some kind people with extra tickets, I was sitting second row from the front. I felt this last time too when I was sitting far away in the enormous Auditorium Theater: he can create a full band's sound by himself, just him and the guitar. And really any other way would just be a distraction.
Anyway, the main idea is that he was awesome. 8 years of silence later, he is still remarkable.