Sunday, September 13, 2009

Iron and Wine

Last night I did a brave thing. I went to a concert all by myself. I'd wanted to see Iron and Wine for an age, and didn't go the last time I had a chance. So this time, with Ari's encouragement, I sucked it up, bought a ticket (7th to last) online and got in the car. That was the complicated part. I forgot about football traffic. And I was already a half hour late for the start time because I had wavered about going. Now, I live in State College, home of Penn State and the Nittany Lions. I now know, thanks to Mr. McGee that Beaver Stadium (where the lions play) is the third largest stadium in the world and the largest in the Western hemisphere. So, that creates a bit of traffic when those 106,000 people try to leave a town whose entire population is only slightly larger than that. An hour and 45 minute drive turned into 2 and a half. I was an hour and 15 minutes late.

Anyhow, I got there, found some nice boys to direct me once I was on campus and arrived just in time to see the last 5 songs of the opener, Roman Candle. They were pretty good. Then it was time for Iron and Wine. He opened with Such Great Heights. It was funny, the song was beautiful, most of the people knew it, and he asked everyone to sing along several times. But clearly these people didn't quite get the concept of a folk concert, because if Sam wasn't singing, they weren't either, even if they knew the words.

He played a bunch of other songs I really like like "Naked As We Came," "Sodom, South Georgia," "Each Coming Night" and "Sunset Soon Forgotten." Then, I really started hoping he would play my favorite Iron and Wine song, "The Trapeze Swinger" and no less than 10 seconds later, this started.

It was nothing short of amazing. I felt it down to my bones. I was so grateful that he played it. He kept playing. I stopped feeling (as) self-conscious about being there by myself. He played some new songs I didn't know but still enjoyed. Then, just as I began to hope for another song, it started.

It was great. Almost all acoustic. It was the last song of the set, such a good way to go out. He came out and played a short, one song encore. I was surprise though, that people left before the encore even though the house lights hadn't come back on. It was weird. The only real bummer was that the show was so short. He barely played more than an hour. But Iron and Wine was great to see live. Sam Beam's voice is as beautiful and perfect in person as it is recorded, a rare talent and a rare treat for me. If you have the chance to see him in concert, go. He'll be in Champaign, IL on Sept. 19 and in Anchorage, AK at the University of Alaska on Sept. 25.

Last night was incredible. I needed to be reminded how much I love music. I definetely want a live band for my wedding. I was a live band at my whole life, I always want to feel like I did last night. Even a two hour drive in the dark through the mountains felt just fine after that.

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