It has been a while since Sam Beam – better known by his stage name Iron & Wine – was in Berlin. The city and the auditorium of the Huxleys Neue Welt was the first stop in his 2018 European tour to promote Beast Epic, his sixth album after almost four years of quiet.
From that gig in the city back in September 2016 Beam still remembered how to say “Danke” – although that is about all when it comes to further German vocabulary – and having clarified that from the beginning, the American songwriter gave an intimate and personal two-hour concert stating between illuminated clouds and glasses of wine that the Iron & Wine acoustic “beast” has returned to its roots.
“Did you guys come from a meeting? You are all so quiet and well behaved”
Sam kept the crowd waiting for more than a fair time. But at 10 pm the North Carolina natural opened with the iconic track The Trapeze Swinger and established the atmosphere for what would be in his own words a concert with ´an extremely well-behaved crowd´. “Did you guys come from a meeting? You are all so quiet and well behaved”, he kept repeating while testing his guitar and wine at the same time.
For an extensive taste of his sixth record ‘Beast Epic’ Sam accompanied by Elizabeth Goodfellow in the drums/percussion, Eliza Jones in the keys/organ, Teddy Rankin-Parker in the cello and Sebastian Steinberg in the bass went back to familiar places where folk and indie notes held a poetic rhythm with new songs like Claim Your Ghost, Summer Clouds and Call It Dreaming.
As lyrical as ever, with that fluent narrative of words and hazy aesthetics
As lyrical as ever, with that fluent narrative of words and hazy aesthetics ‘Beast Epic’ – meaning allegorical verses in which the characters are animals with human feelings and motives – presents itself with a solid new formula of tempos while keeping the already-known and almost smooth dynamic of the early Sam Beam.
In company or alone, trying to make a killer solo or just messing around, Sam is still one of those songwriters that can fill up an auditory with a band called in recognition to a dietary supplement named “Beef, Iron & Wine”. And although more romantic and grown-up than in previous projects, the essence of Iron & Wine is still that folky indie genre that makes you want to dream about olive fields and clouds that light up to the sequence of music.
Photo by Kim Black.