“I surprised myself there,” Damien Rice said Saturday night after an intense rendition of his song “Face.” “I haven’t played that one in 10 years.” It has been a while. Other than a few collaborations, the last Damien Rice album, 9, was released in 2006. Naturally, Rice’s tour to promote his upcoming album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy (out November 10), sold out in minutes.
Saturday’s show at New York’s The Box was one of the more intimate performances; the cabaret theater packed about a couple hundred hardcore Damien Rice fans into its tiny space, with Rice playing solo on a barely elevated stage. The Irish singer-songwriter pulled out old favorites and took plenty of requests from the crowd (the aforementioned “Face,” “The Professor”). Despite struggling to play his newest single, Rice easily pulled out plenty of B-side favorites and several songs off the upcoming album, bringing in a percussionist to accompany him on “Woman Like a Man” and “I Don’t Want to Change You.” The evening ended not with a Glen Hansard surprise appearance, which occurred at Friday’s show at Warsaw in Brooklyn, but with Rice standing on a chair, singing the “The Blower’s Daughter” sans mic, high above his mesmerized fans.