Gig Review: Iron & Wine | Melbourne Recital Centre | 23.5.18

Friday, May 25, 2018

With a career spanning six studio albums (plus two collaborative albums with Ben Bridwell and Jesca Hoop), Iron & Wine is one of the world's best and unique singer-songwriters. Playing the Melbourne Recital Centre is the perfect setting for the atmospheric nature of his music. Revellers weren't only wowed by his stunning music, but also by his infectious charm.

Along with his band, Sam Beam was backed by an intriguing set up of pink clouds that adorned above him. The show was his second of the night, the first show being at 6:30pm and the second being after 9:30pm. With his declaration of "I saved the best shit for the second show", I sat inside the venue with an aura of optimism that we were all about to see something special — and that feeling was right.

He played songs across his six studio albums, focussing particularly on his most recent album Beast Epic, which he released last August. He opened up with the beautiful l sounds of  'The Trapeze Swinger', captivating everyone from the get-go. His vocals are some the world-best and his artistry was on full display over the course of the night. He also treated the crowd to renditions of 'Someday the Waves', 'Call It Dreaming', 'Glad Man Singing' and a few others. His set also included a rework of his tune 'Jezabel', which evolved it to a whole other level.

A highlight of the night was his solo acoustic performance of 'Naked as We Came', which lifted the room with soothing vocals and hauntingly beautiful sounds, leaving everyone stunned.

Despite the beautiful mellow feeling of the evening, which caused instant calmness for everyone, he delighted everyone with his personality, showcasing funny on-stage banter with his band and the audience, even declaring his love for Australian crowds (noting that we're fun) and our wine.

After departing the stage for a brief moment, Beam returned to the stage to perform one last song — 'About a Bruise'. Though the ending felt bittersweet, I felt content leaving Melbourne Recital Centre knowing that I had just witnessed something ever-so-special.

Written by Kristy Smolcic