Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN |

Jesca Hoop stood left, with her worn-out suspenders, deep blue jeans, and white low-top sneakers. Sam Beam stood right, with his guitar, suit coat and luscious beard. Hoop had her water, and Beam, so fittingly had a glass of wine. For the duration of their set, nothing else seemed to matter, as an intimacy filled the room.

Beam would look into the crowd, and I can only imagine he locked eyes with the others as he did with me. He joked about the age of the audience — when Hoop said it felt like we were back in the ’70s, Beam quipped that some may never have left that decade. He followed that sick burn by taking an imaginary jump shot, whispering “swish.” Later, he told us to not get too drunk, so that our friends will still like us when NonCOMM comes around next year. It seemed like everyone had been friends for years now, and we were just hanging out.

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Hoop defined the relationship between artist and crowd as symbiotic. The two entities need each other, and tonight, Hoop and Beam wanted to show their appreciation for by singing beautiful duets from their April release Love Letter For Fire. They shared the challenge of writing a happy song, while other tracks were more sad. And when it was all over, it felt like, at least to me, that I was saying goodbye to friend, not a performer.

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop – NONCOMM 2016

Kiss Me Quick
Know the wild That Wants You
Every Songbird Says
We Two Are a Moon
Milky Way
Valley Clouds
Bright Lights and Goodbyes