I didn’t have much of a social life during law school, and that’s probably a good explanation as any as to why my music collection tends to lack albums released during that time of my life. Insofar as I didn’t have a television during that time, and the only recordings I listened to were recordings of lectures explaining aspects of civil procedure or property law, I relied on friends (mostly in law school) to tell me what was hip or “up and coming” in terms of music that was available.
Samuel Beam, professionally known as Iron & Wine, released his first album when I was in law school. A classmate of mine turned me on his music, and I used music from The Creek Drank the Cradle to help me fall asleep after hours of studying, hopped up on caffeine products. Beam’s gruff voice, and tender acoustic guitar playing lends itself to a soothing, mood-mellowing state of mind.
I’ve always been interested in seeing him perform live, and when I saw the announcement that he was to perform at the Orpheum Theater on Halloween Night, I figured that that would be a great venue to see him perform in, other than a grassy festival lawn or the Hollywood Bowl.
I bought two tickets as soon as their availability was announced, about 5 months in advance of the show. I wasn’t dating anybody at the time, but I figured that I couldn’t go to the show alone. I’ve been to these types of shows before. I had a feeling that it would be couples galore. Being overly optimistic, I bought two tickets with my fingers crossed that I’d have a special someone to ask. As it turns out, I did find a date, but I noticed during the show that we were literally the only couple not snuggling during the concert.
The snuggling aside, Iron & Wine’s show was exactly what I expected, and more. Playing most of the show with a full band, each member costumed as a member of The Muppets, Sam Beam wooed the audience with selections spanning his entire catalogue. Playing over two and a half hours of his soul-soothing music, I enjoyed the show completely, but was particularly impressed when the band left the stage, and Sam Beam stood front and center, armed with only his guitar, Kermit tied to his microphone stand, with only two spotlights from the lighting tresses illuminating his position.
His solo set revealed to me the vulnerable and fragile tenderness of Iron & Wine’s music. Though the subject matter of his music tends to lean towards the darker facets of life and love, listening to his stories through lyrics, you always still had a sense of there being a silver lining through it all. I, like the rest of the audience, was drawn into Iron & Wine’s world, and enjoyed it all. Though, I probably would have enjoyed it more with someone to snuggle with… lol. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time I see him live.
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