Iron and Wine and Ben Bridwell showcase musical friendship at Union Transfer

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Iron and Wine and Ben Bridwell | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com
Iron and Wine and Ben Bridwell | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

While walking east towards Union Transfer on Tuesday night, loud rain could be heard in the immediate distance. This was odd because no rain was falling where I was. Then, like out of a movie, I walked into a rainstorm. It was this otherworldly experience that ushered in a night of music with Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell.

Playing behind Sing Into My Mouth, a covers album they recently released, Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) and Bridwell (frontman of Band of Horses) showcased their musical friendship to a sold out crowd. Trading lead vocal duties and often singing in harmony, these old friends give their own folksy rock take to a number of varying tunes. Standout moments included Sade’s “Bulletproof Soul,” the unexpected Americana turn of Spiritualized with “The Straight and Narrow” and a rousing version of David Gilmour’s “There’s No Way Out of Here.”

Just as engaging as the covers was the trading of lead vocal duties on each other’s own work. Beam took over Band of Horses’ “No One’s Gonna Love You” to good effect. The highlight of the night was Bridwell’s lead on Iron and Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth.” Nervous about singing it, he showed his glorious vocal range that when matched with Beam’s resonating romanticism created an enthralling version.

This night of music splendor got off to a rocking start from one of the finest performers today, Lydia Loveless. For a too brief set of thirty minutes her and her stunning band energized the crowd with her signature blend of country and rock.

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