I was very excited to get the chance to see Iron & Wine perform live again when I heard of the concert and immediately got tickets. I wanted to see them again, mainly because the first time, in Paris, it was a blur. I had spent a whole weekend with 8 colleagues from the Masters program, never alone, never a minute to be alone with my thoughts. So when we were in the little stage of Paris, my first Iron & Wine experience might have been a little too extreme because of that. I knew it would be a good experience again, but I had to just see them one more time.
Moreover, I had listened to the new album “Kiss Each Other Clean” live version on NPR.org and was curious. Curious to see, that it was a different sound. A full band, a saxophone player. It was going to be interesting.
So I found my +1, a good Chinese friend of mine who is studying in Utrecht, who had never heard of Iron & Wine before I asked her if she would go with me. She said sure! and apparently did her homework. Already while waiting for the start, she was telling me how Sam Beam also paints. Seeing her enthusiasm made me more excited, but maybe also a bit nervous, to see how the new sound would work, and whether we both would get out of this concert happy.
It didn’t disappoint. Starting with an older song and a smaller band, Naked As We Came, Sam Beam slowly warmed the hearts of the audience, got bigger, more playful with newer songs, and new versions of older songs. The more they played, the happier I was getting. The new songs sounded great, with some instrumental, improvisational interludes. The old songs, they sounded great. I’m not sure if “better” is relevant. I would say I love both versions of House by the Sea or Boy With a Coin. They just fit different moods, different mindsets. They are both amazing.
What made me even happier was my friend’s reaction. She was happy, and I mean happy to have come and seen them live. She loved their songs, their vibe. She was charmed, and I think everyone else was as well.
Maybe the only disappointment of the concert (other than the slightly drunk and loud-ish middle aged men next to us) was that there was only one song for the encore. But it is unfair to call it that, because it was beautiful, magical, and everything that Iron & Wine is at its core.
Below is the setlist which was kindly posted on the Roar E-zine, which is also where I took the pictures from. I hope they don’t mind since I actually am giving the credit to Daniel de Borger and Roar. I also will not forget my camera next time. Here it is:
1. Naked As We Came
2. He Lays in the Reins
3. Godless Brother In Love
4. Swans and the Swimming
5. Rabbit Will Run
6. Sunset Soon Forgotten
7. Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog)
8. Tree By the River
9. Cinder and Smoke
10. Lion’s Mane
11. House by the Sea
12. The Sea and the Rhythm
13. Me and Lazarus
14. Arms of a Thief
15. The Devil Never Sleeps
16. Free Until They Cut Me Down
17. In My Lady’s House
18. Boy With a Coin
19. The Trapeze Swinger