Iron & Wine debuts 'Light Verse' at NON-COMM - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

“Gotta play it for the first time somewhere,” chuckled Sam Beam to a cheering crowd.

Fresh off the release of his newest album Light Verse, Iron and Wine played the NPR Music Stage at NON-COMM 2024. Harmonizing with Rob Burger on keys and Katie Ernst on upright bass, Beam debuted “Sweet Talk” with his audience singing along: “Let’s get underneath the skin/Of a wonderful life.”

It’s clear that Iron and Wine has a lot of love for the NON-COMM crowd and the crowd has a lot of love for him. Each song was sandwiched between whoops (and shushes directed at the chattier portions of the audience), and each rendition was just as beautiful, if not more so, than his recorded versions.

“This song has a cuss word in it, too, so watch out,” Beam chuckles as he self-censored “All In Good Time” (played this time solo – Fiona Apple, come to XPN next time!) and “Cutting It Close,” replacing four-letter words with cheerful “boop!”s and earning laughs from fans.

Light Verse is Beam’s tenth studio album since the film professor-turned-singer-songwriter debuted in 2002 with The Creek Drank the Cradle. Since then, his work has come full circle, appearing in films like Garden State, In Good Company, and Twilight. He’s appeared at XPN’s World Cafe Live several times over the years and has also appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, most recently in 2022.

With a transition in lighting came a transition to some of Iron & Wine’s older work. This version of “Tree by the River” from Kiss Each Other Clean was beautifully haunting with backup vocals from both Burger and Ernst. Beam ended his set with “Call It Dreaming” from 2017’s Beast Epic fittingly including the lines, “for all the love you’ve left behind, you can have mine.”

It was no secret that the crowd at NON-COMM loved Beam and his work. But the beautiful thing was the way Beam showed the audience he loved them back.

Iron and Wine
  • Sweet Talk
  • All In Good Time
  • Cutting It Close
  • Anyone's Game
  • Tree By The River
  • Yellow Jacket
  • Call It Dreaming
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