Seattle loves Sam Beam … and Sam Beam loves us right back. Every happy fan who called out “I love you!” last night at Iron and Wine’s show at the Paramount got a kind “I love you too” back from the singer.
Of course, you have to be careful what you shout out, because you might just get it. The obligatory call of “Free Bird!” led to a few verses of the song during the acoustic portion of the show when Beam asked for requests.
The songs soared in a live setting with the backing of a full band, and the show sometimes took on the feel of a gentle revival, with handclaps, dancing horn players and strings, Beam’s comfy blanket of a voice floating over it all.
Highlights included Caught In the Briars, with an instrumental break that broke down into what seemed like formless cacophony before returning to its gentle sway, and Black Candle, introduced by Beam as a “cool, weird and fun” track.
British singer-songwriter Laura Mvula opened the show with her own gospel-tinged set. The Mercury Prize nominee performed songs from her debut album Sing to the Moon, backed by her own string (and harp) section, and beautiful full-band harmonies. She closed her warmly-received set by coming out from behind her keyboard for Green Garden and That’s Alright, ending on a high note with their driving, spirited beats.