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Beware!!! Worst show in 20 years!

  • joshua's picture
    Beware!!! Worst show in 20 years!
    says (2011-06-02 00:32)

    I just went to see sam and co. tonight at the warfield in san francisco.  I need to say before anything else, I love sam and the music he has written.  the rendition of that music, the rendition he is presently touring with, is a bastardized version of his own brilliance.  truly,  the only thing worth having seen tonight was the opening band and the last song, which he did by himself.  the crowd tonight looked like zombies, blank faces dumbfounded by what was transpiring on stage.  Sorry sam, but i was quite disappointed.  you've made me cry before, but this version just hurt.

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joshua's picture
on (Jun 02, 2011)

I just went to see sam and co. tonight at the warfield in san francisco.  I need to say before anything else, I love sam and the music he has written.  the rendition of that music, the rendition he is presently touring with, is a bastardized version of his own brilliance.  truly,  the only thing worth having seen tonight was the opening band and the last song, which he did by himself.  the crowd tonight looked like zombies, blank faces dumbfounded by what was transpiring on stage.  Sorry sam, but i was quite disappointed.  you've made me cry before, but this version just hurt.

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thegladtown's picture

Yeah, I've thoroughly enjoyed pretty much everything Iron & Wine have done. I've seen them 3 times & I've been blown away every time. I love that they don't just stick to how the song was recorded. They improv & make it really unique & awesome each time. I love what they're doing. This is real live music, not what you'll get if you go to any pop/rock/country concert these days.

pookasnake's picture

I had the extreme good fortune to see them on back to back nights at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta, this past November. Both shows (but particularly the 1st, as it was being filmed for the Artist's Den TV show) were absolutely incredible. As a long time fan, I can honestly say that while at first I wasn't sure I liked the shift in sound on Kiss Each Other Clean, seeing them live made me appreciate it so much more. I really fell in love all over again. You can totally see the progression the growth in their sound, but also in the tightness of the band and the craftsmanship of the music. I don't mean to discount how anyone is feeling, I'm just saying once I let go of "HEY! What happened to the I&W I know and love?" and just rode the ride, it totally clicked for me.

Anyhoo, I'm going to make a thread with some pics and video from those shows here in a minute.

KelKelMLPS's picture

Well, apparently I'm not the only one doesn't like the jazz/lounge vibe of the new live shows.. The show at First Ave was not that great, and I wasn't the only fan there to think that. The second 10 minute horn section solo killed the momentum he had.

mpcervantes's picture

@AcousticTreez: Well said. I think that's the story most fans are feeling right now.

@the guy who made the above post: I saw him at the start of this tour and it was my second time, last one several years ago. The show was absolutely beautiful, with incredible renditions of songs old, new, and in the middle. Take 'Sea and the Rhythm.' When I saw him back in the day, this was the ONE song I wanted to hear him play, just him and that guitar. But alas, the show went on without it, and I still had a good time. Flash forward to now, years of new musical interests later, and I see him, and he surprises me by busting out the most incredible, semi-electronic atmospheric presentation of 'Sea and the Rhythm' that I could have possibly conceived. Now THAT brought me to tears. And besides, if you're really that surprised by his new sound, you clearly haven't been listening to his very directed evolution, like, say, the last two albums... and his live shows are always all about the jam band. That ten-minute version of 'Wolves'? Melted my face.

acoustictreez's picture

Sounds a lot like what people were saying when Dylan went electric... what ever happened to him, anyway?

theDr's picture

Wow I am shocked by all of this; just saw them in Montreal and was blown away- as was the entire crowd. It was a love-fest. I have never seen a crowd (1400) in a large room so quiet- you could hear a pin drop. Because everyone was transfixed by the musicianship on stage. The arrangements were incredibly orchestrated, haunting, and beautiful. Yes that means the horns, Marketa in the background, bongos, chimes, etc...I think a bare bones acoustic show would be the disappointment having witnessed this tour.

marttivaa's picture

After seeing their show in Helsinki, I have to agree. Surely, the artist has a right to do whatever he wants to with his own songs, but the current live show just starts to be beyond the point of being accessible to many people who have learned to love the songs from his albums. I mean, to me Sam is the greatest songwriter out there and I really tried my best to enjoy the show, but it just really didn't work for me with all the psychedelic jazz arrangements. Also, the the band was way too loud (especially bass + bass drum) and all the nuances in Sam's voice and his guitar were masked. I would have never believed I'd leave Iron & Wine show disappointed.

yutzie's picture

I guess you're not familiar with what Sam does to his songs. No one covers Iron and Wine like Iron and Wine. You go to his shows EXPECTING him to switch it up. I guess it should be a fair warning to anyone expecting Sam to play his music the way it sounds on the album, that he rarely plays that way at a show. The fun is hearing how he makes an old song new. Get over yourself and maybe learn to appreciate things that are different.

Jesse L.'s picture

You guys are so selfish. The point of going to see a band is just that seeing, hanging out with the band. I want to see them enjoy themselves. It isn't about what they do for me, but what they do for each other onstage that makes a great show. I saw them at Lollapalooza years ago, Cleveland this year, and Indianapolis a few nights ago. Every time I feel that I am with friends and their expression and personalities come out way more on a stage.
I love so keep the jazz interludes, new instrumental arrangements, and poetry reciting arm Sam!
The only thing that I ask of Iron & Wine is a live album of this tour. I would buy that as quick as the bunny goes.

jake10948's picture

I don't want to get into any sort of pissing match, but your references to Dylan and Prince are way too much. I agree with your point that when I go to a show I don't want to see carbon copies of the songs. However, a 4 minute jazz flute interlude in the middle of a song is a little bit ridiculous. I was pumping iron and wine ad nauseum in the month leading up to the show, because i wanted it all to be fresh in my mind and ready to go. To that end, I couldn't even recognize half of the songs at the show, except by listening for the title in the lyrics. Thats a little beyond an interpretation. At some point, if there's a sold out show to see iron and wine (who by no means is an act like brandon flowers, who might attract a less 'music focused' crowd) and the crowd is restless, it has to go back to the artist. Like I said, when he came on stage, people were PUMPED. That was an amazing opening ovation. Different strokes, I guess, but it was honestly the least compelling show I've seen in 10 years.

Trip's picture

Wow. I completely disagree. The show in Mpls. was fantastic. If you go to a show wanting to see your acts regurgitate carbon copies of their album tracks you are going to be disappointed most of the time. I thought the re-worked songs were great. The musicians Sam has gathered around him are comparable in talent to the groups I've heard play with Bob Dylan & Prince...very impressive. I will agree that the crowd was restless at First Ave. last night but I don't think it was from a bad show. My first thought after the show ended was, 'Wow, awesome show, just think how great it would have been to see it in a room full of Iron & Wine fans.' Don't know why half the crowd was there...sure wasn't to listen to a show.

jake10948's picture

I came on here this morning looking for a little consolation. I'm a an out and out HUGE fan of Iron and Wine and I could not have been more shocked to hear the type of music they were making in minneapolis last night. If you like light jazz, you'll love his new set. I was standing near the middle of the back in first ave and people did not know what to do. When he came out on stage to start his set, it was one of the loudest pre-music ovations I've heard in a while. After 4 or 5 songs he had completely killed it. People were just looking around trying to figure out what was going on. In all my years of concerts, from shitty early punk rock shows, to "underground" hip hop wannabe acts, I've never walked out on a concert. Last night I did it. Devastating. Sam and his band were on my short list of people I had yet to see, now it's more that I wish I could keep my hopes of what he would be like live, rather than the reality.

Truly disappointed.

middlewest's picture

I have to agree. I just went to the Milwaukee show last night and left early because we just were not interested in the "Iron & Wine Lounge Act" sound. It's a shame to take these great songs and cheese them up with long jams in the middle and pretty obnoxious horn arrangements.

I am sure Mr. Beam gets tired of playing the same things in the same way year after year. This was just a bit too far of a departure for me.

thegoodnights8's picture

Wah wah.