Saturday, December 13, 2008

Archive: Iron & Wine at the SFBH

The venue had sold out weeks ago for Iron & Wine's first visit to Wellington and San Francisco Bathhouse provided the intimate venue appropriate for such a treat as Iron & Wine. The evening was warmed up by Rosey Tin Tea Caddy, who provided a delightful 45 minute set of twee-pop, the vocals and musicianship appreciated by the punters. A quick 10 minute change saw Iron & Wine hit the stage, first as a striped back trio with Sam Beam accompanied by his sister on vocals and the steel guitar. The Trapeze Swinger was the opening track, followed by Cinder & Smoke and Resurrection Fern. Beam's vocals were pure and sublime and this trio of songs was for me the highlight of the evening, confirming his voice is the magic in the music. Songs from The Shepherd's Dog dominated the rest of the evening, though treats like Jezebel and Sodom, South Georgia were dabbled throughout. The band merged songs together seamlessly moving from one to the next. Songs such as Each Coming Night, Peace Beneath the City, On your wings, Lovesong of the Buzzard all demonstrating the strong musicianship, but in some ways losing the beauty of Beam's voice. House by the Sea was great as was Boy with a Coin, but for me Wolves (The Shepherd's Dog) was the highlight of the full band selection, with a lengthy free-flowing jam. Beam returned for an acoustic encore of one song to top off a fantastic night.

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