Photos and Review by Jenna Hughes
Iron & Wine made a stop in Atlanta at The Tabernacle on November 11th as part of the Ghost on Ghost Tour, supporting the 2013 album of the same name. Sam Beam, the man behind the curtain, was joined on stage by an impressive backing band that included a trio of strings, a horn section and three backup singers. The stage was alive and moving from the very first song, “The Desert Babbler,” from the Ghost on Ghost album, and the energy continued on with “Carousel” and “Tree By the River.”
Beam was a charismatic storyteller throughout the two-hour set, as he took the engaged crowd through songs such as “Monkeys Uptown,” prefaced by the disclaimer, “This song has a curse word in the chorus, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.” After singing the French lyrics of “Baby Center Stage,” he took the time to let the audience know “That was French,” before continuing on. His cover of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” was the highlight of the night; the stark, stripped down vocals of the song silenced the crowd until it was met with roaring applause and several standing ovations at its end.
The band left Beam to perform solo for a few songs near the middle of the set, and requests were shouted out from the eager audience after he asked them, “What do you feel like hearing?” “Fever Dream,” a gorgeous gem from 2004’s Our Endless Numbered Days and “Resurrection Fern,” from the 2007 album The Shepherd’s Dog, won the voting before Beam performed a new song called “Waves of Galveston,” after telling an amusing anecdote about the town in Texas and describing it as “An ideal place, if you like cows and the beach.” The backing band returned to the stage for songs such as “Caught in the Briars,” “Jezebel” and “Lean Into the Light,” and “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me” closed out the set.