In the past I had only experienced Iron and Wine as a solo act. I was thrilled to learn that BAMP Project was bringing Sam Beam and his band to The Republik in Honolulu, Hawaii. Iron and Wine was beginning their Asian tour in the islands and were promoting the latest album Beast Epic.
Beam and his four piece band entered the stage with illuminated clouds hung overhead. From the introduction of “Trapeze Swinger” we knew Beam would be exploring all areas of his back catalog. With the addition of the band I noticed the complexity of Iron and Wine songs. The intricate bass lines in the song and the addition of a cello made the song realize its full potential. The band played sensitively around Beams songs. The vocal harmonies enhanced the performance. Iron and Wine’s performance was airy, dreamy, affirmative with a bit of nostalgia. The encore was “Woman King” which takes on added meaning with the #MeToo movement.
Unfortunately, throughout the night Beam made several comments about the obnoxiously chatty crowd. The chattiness was blamed on it being a Friday night, but Beam said he was under the impression Hawaii was a laid back place and seemed a bit perturbed. That is one of the problems of booking Iron and Wine in a club that serves alcohol. Their concerts are somewhere between a rock-n-roll show and a recital and could be better suited at a concert hall.
The attendees who were paying attention were captivated by the bucolic music. Although I’m looking forward to seeing Iron and Wine again I hope the “Chatty Cathys” stay at home.
Trapeze Swinger / Claim Your Ghosts / Wolves / Last Night / Thomas County Law / Cinder and Smoke / Big Burned Hand / Love and Some Verses / Call Your Boys / Naked As We Came / Grace For Saints / About A Bruise / Song In Stone / Muddy Hymnal / Call It Dreaming / Boy With A Coin / Woman King