IRON & WINE live concert in Dublin, Ireland.

We need to talk, first of all…I am pregnant!

That’s how Samuel Beam (known with the stage name of Iron & Wine) opened his strings session in his concert, on May 29th, at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, arousing a general laughter among the audience.

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The European Tour

The American singer/song-writer started his Spring Tour this year in Napa (CA) till hitting the irish stage last night as his first European date. Next he is going to perform in Manchester and following: London, Utrecht, Brussels till heading to Berlin, before going back to his american audience in Texas. Although the only Dublin’s tour date wasn’t sold out, there were few seats left and the audience that came was really affectionate towards the singer which created an intimate and homely atmosphere.

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The Gig in Dublin

The concert in Dublin lasted almost two hours and Iron & Wine was accompanied on stage by a band composed by three female backing vocalists, two violinists, one viola player, two saxophonists, one drummer, one pianist and one trumpet player. Despite they have been playing together only for two weeks (as Beam revealed on stage) the ensemble showed an incredible energy and harmony which led to an unexpected result: at times jazzy and funky which is unusual for the acoustic american-dreamy sound Iron & Wine usually sells in his records.

Beam started the concert with his band playing most of the songs from his latest album Ghost On Ghost such as Low Light Buddy Of Mine or Sundown, then he carried on his performance accompanied only by strings with oldies like Tree by the river and Such Great Heights entertaining the audience between a tune and another by telling funny anecdotes. He also took requests from the audience, like he was playing his guitar around a bonfire with his friends, dazzling everyone with his charm and his voice: delicate and soft, at times whispered but never tedious.

The band came back on stage to perform the last songs bringing back a groovy vibe, for a total of 21 songs at the end of the concert. As goodbye to his irish crowd, Beam performed an a cappella Flightless Bird, American Mouth, only his voice fulfilled the entire baroque-looking theatre, leaving everyone speechless, none wanted to interrupt the beauty of that polished symphony.

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Who is Iron & Wine?

Although at first you may think Iron & Wine is a band, truth is that it’s the stage name american song-writer Samuel Beam decided for himself while he was shooting a film and he found a dietary supplement called “Beef Iron and Wine”.

Samuel Beam was born in July 26, 1974, and raised in Chapin, South Carolina. He got a bachelor’s degree in art in Virginia specializing in painting, then he graduated with an MFA from the Florida State University Film School. He became a professor of film and cinematography at the University of Miami and at Miami International university of Art and Design.

In the meantime he had been writing songs for several years and he decided to give his demo to his friend Michael Bridwell (brother of Band of Horses lead singer) which later came to the attention of Sub Pop Records co-owner Jonathan Poneman. His first album The Creek Drank the Cradle was released in 2002, his album’s sound featuring acoustic guitars and banjo was compared to fathers of the american acoustic music scene like Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young.

Between 2004 and 2013 Iron and Wine released four studio album (Our Endless Numbered Days, The Shepherd’s Dog, Kiss Each Other Clean, Ghost on Ghost), three live albums and one compilation. His songs appeared in Tv series like Grey’s Anatomy and on the big screen in Garden State and In Good Company among many others. On November 26, 2010 Iron & Wine released a special edition Record Store Day Black Friday 12″ vinyl and CD single called, Walking Far from Home for independent record stores. Nowadays, at the age of 38, Beam resides in Dripping Springs near Austin, Texas with his wife and five daughters. Creating magic.

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Text and Pics by: Chiara Pizzi