What we needed last night at Brooklyn Steel was a glass of red vino, the option of tea, and a display of blankets and pillows to cozy into to be the appropriate vibe for experiencing the smooth tracks of Iron & Wine. However, given Brooklyn’s harsh cold weather and black warehouse environment, Sam Beam transformed the space into a dream state, warming us with his voice and by literally singing under neon glowing clouds. The dichotomy of Beam’s folk blissful vibe and unapologetic New York City was not lost, rather, they were combined by witty comments from the crowd and Sam’s request to shout which “fucking” song we wanted to hear during his acoustic session. Whether it was his cleverly hilarious responses to the audience or the sips of red wine while tuning his acoustic guitars, the charm of Sam Beam was not lost.
During the band’s last performance on their Beast Epic US Tour, the crowd swayed and hummed along to new Beast Epic favorites like, “Bitter Truth”, “Claim Your Ghost”, and “Call It Dreaming.” The songs were brought to life with standup bass, gentle percussion, and female vocal harmonizing. It was truly a delight… just close your eyes and imagine your IPA as a hot toddy.
With already five studio albums under his belt, Beam released Beast Epic this summer for Sub Pop Records, titled after what he called, “…a story where animals talk and act like people”. The album was recorded live with minimal overdubbing, taking two weeks to put it down with other musicians at The Loft in Chicago.
“Where the older songs [on previous albums] painted a picture of youth moving wide-eyed into adulthood’s violent pleasures and disappointments, this collection speaks to the beauty and pain of growing up after you’ve already grown up. For me, that experience has been more generous in its gifts and darker in its tragedies.”
Chicago band, OHMME, had the pleasure of opening up for Iron & Wine in Brooklyn, a stop on their Fall Tour in support of their self-titled EP released in June. The voices and guitar talents of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart combine for a rebellious, choppy rock overlaid with lyric harmony. They have an effortlessly cool edge to them, best heard on their track “Women”.