November 19, 2017 | By Danae Bucci, Photos by Sophie Cannon
Concerts are often synonymous with being hot and crowded, which for many is the great downfall of enjoying live music. That was not the case for Iron & Wine’s sold-out show at the Berklee Performance Center Nov. 11. Much like his music, the concert was relaxing and homey, perfect for a brisk fall night.
The singer-song writer was prefaced by John Moreland, who opened the show. Moreland, who hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, music style had very blues and folk inspired vibes, almost venturing into country. The 32-year-old’s melodic and raspy voice was powerful and reverberated throughout the auditorium seating more than 1,200 people.
Next came the main attraction, Iron & Wine, led by lead singer Samuel Beam, and accompanied by a keyboardist, drummer, cellist, bass player and a glass of red wine. The South Carolina native was met with huge applause upon walking on stage.
The back-and-forth banter between Beam and various audience members made for an intimate experience with the singer. Audience members called out about loving Beam to which he promptly would answer that he loved them back.
Flanked by fake, hanging clouds overhead and a chill in the auditorium, Beam started his set with a popular song “Trapeze Swinger,” from one of his earlier albums, “Around the Well.” Mood lighting on the set established the tone to the evening, ranging in colors from blue to pink. The 42-year-old’s glossy acoustic guitar set a huge contrast between his navy and black ensemble.
The bass vibrated throughout the auditorium as he went on to sing “Wolves” and then later, songs from his most recent album and namesake of the tour, “Beast Epic.”
“Beast Epic” is Beam’s first full album in four years and, according to a 2017 article in the Rolling Stone Magazine, Beam seems more at peace, musically and otherwise, than he’s been in years.”
The group also performed the popular songs “Sodom, South Georgia” and “Jezebel,” both of which are top hits for Beam. Each song ended with copious amounts of applause as Beam would tune his guitar between each set. The applause, however, would get in the way of the artist tuning his instrument often having to playfully shush the crowd.
After a hour long set, Beam finally made it to the final song of the evening, “About a Bruise” from his most recent album. The disappointment could be felt and heard throughout the crowd as all audience members stood and cheered hoping for an encore performance.
After what felt like five minutes of cheering, the group came back out for one final song. They played “Desert Babbler” from their album, “Ghost on Ghost” which was met with a standing ovation at its conclusion.
The calm nature of the concert was met with the hard contrast of the harsh lighting of the foyer and the cold temperatures accompanied by Boston fall leaving many wishing the concert could have lasted longer.