Iron and Wine

House of Blues

June 09, 2005

And then the shooshing began. Everything was fine before the shooshing. Everyone was pretty reverent, and things were kinda quiet considering the House of Blues has two bars. But, apparently a number of people thought things got too loud for their worship of Iron and Wine Thursday night. So, they started shooshing a half hour into the concert. One guy even yelled out, "Be quiet!" He didn't realize he was being louder than those he was trying to quiet. Columbia, SC singer-songwriter Sam Beam(a.k.a. Iron and Wine) could have held the concert in a church or a theatre, but he didn't. He held it in a house of alcohol, nicotine, and illegal substances. People are gonna talk! It's a concert. If you want quiet, go listen to the CD on your headphones. If you want variables, go to a show. I went upstairs to escape the bad vibe of the shooshers, but I ran into an altercation. Some guy started a verbal fight with a woman who kept telling him to be quiet. Can't we all just get along? No, not really. That's why we have mosh pits. The ironic thing is that the House of Blues felt like church until the shooshing began.

Iron and Wine played transcendent music. There wasn't one bad song in the bunch. They were captivating. It was easy to see I was standing in a wonderful moment, that this was why we see live music--for the experience--that everything was ok for a second.

Irone and Wine played delicate folk songs that sounded like Nick Drake combined with the voice of Belle and Sebastian. And that's just the beginning. Beam had the voice of a breathy cherub, and when he went for the falsetto, it was knee-trembling. Especially when he harmonized with the female band member. Like Low. The music would have been perfect for a sunset picnic. The heavy, melancholic songs bring with them a slight romanticism, if you don't let them bring you down.

The mellow and subdued songs had touches of Country and Blues. When Beam was accompanied by the band, it was normal for the instrumentation to include a banjo, mandolin, or lap steel guitar. When the band rocked out, it was a big deal and that much more powerful because the rest of the concert was so quiet. Like, "Oh, yeah, I like grooves. Drums! Yeah!"

And it was just fine to go back to the soft, beautiful stuff.

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