Iron and Wine give folk a fresh face
Arguably one of folk’s most prominent and established artists, Samuel Beam, better known by his stage name, Iron and Wine, kicked his music into high-gear at a performance at New York City’s Terminal 5 last Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The show opened with Low, an indie-rock group hailing from Duluth, Minn. The group, while presenting a beautiful male-female vocal interplay, stayed true to their “slowcore” classification, never really deviating in tone or tempo. Their music had a certain, indescribable quality that at times was tedious but also had mesmerizing elements that kept the audience listening.
Formed in 1993, the band’s music was tinged with hints at their ‘90s-era past with some of their songs displaying characteristics that were more than reminiscent of the time. While interesting, it was clear that towards the end of their performance, the audience was eagerly anticipating Iron and Wine.
His performance opened with “Rabbit Will Run,” a track off of Iron and Wine’s most recent release, “Kiss Each Other Clean.”
Traditionally, Beam’s music stays relatively peaceful but this time the artist decided to deviate from his typical path and perform with a full band—complete with a three-man brass section and a trio of backup singers.
Beam’s band, which consisted of about ten musicians, gave a new twist to the traditional jam band. A departure from his typical folk, this concert presented jazzy and funky elements. All but a few songs in the two-hour set were performed with a full band and were completely rearranged make the newly-incorporated electric elements work with songs that had only previously been heard in acoustic renditions.
Even with the full-band, Beam’s musical talent was still more-than-evident for anyone lucky enough to see him perform. A finger-picking virtuoso, Beam plays the guitar so adeptly that merely watching the manner in which he plays complicated arrangements so effortlessly is enough to make the entire performance go by as though it lasted mere minutes.
Iron and Wine also performed at Terminal 5 on Thursday. Beam is currently touring North America.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at alyana.alfaro@ student.shu.edu.