I had no idea I would ever find a bearded man so sexy.
While making the short trip from Athens to Atlanta on a Fall Friday afternoon, I was worried that I would fall asleep at the wheel, or worse, at the Iron & Wine concert. Meghan and I had been counting down the days to the concert in the months following our birthdays when our parents bestowed the coveted tickets upon us. It was 11/11/11, and we couldn’t wait to see the show; the day was bound to be magical. But I was tired. I’d suffered through a week of too much to do and could barely keep my eyes open, no matter how I tried. I was frightened by the seemingly likely prospect of Samuel Beam’s soft voice lulling me to sleep in a crowd of strangers (snoring doesn’t constitute consent, does it?). Meg and I grabbed coffee after a quick bite to eat in the Virginia Highlands, and as I felt my will to be awake falling more quickly than the sun, we shuffled off towards the Buckhead Theatre.
We pulled into a small lot behind the theatre, per the instructions of an attendant with a thick Eastern-Eurpoean accent. As we walked towards the entrance, we noticed a large body guard outside a door close to our… minivan. Excited by the prospect of how close the band must be, we trotted in to take our spots.
The opening band was truly incredible. The beautiful Marketa Irglova (formerly of The Swell Season and the leading actress and writer of all but one song in the movie, Once) sang and played keyboard alongside Iranian singer-percussionist, Aida Shahghasemi, who kept rhythm with a daf. They were flawless; they were haunting, and they were too peaceful for my sleep-walking state. Fortunately, there were two total assholes talking so loudly in my ear, and my heightened feelings of rage were enough to keep me awake (dear larger of the two d-bags, I am sorry that my gum fell out of my mouth and into your hair).
When they exited the stage to a well-deserved booming, whistling applause, Meghan and I forced our way closer to the stage in anticipation of the main attraction. The lights dimmed once again, and the crowd hushed. Iron & Wine took the stage and the energy of the room immediately radiated with excitement. I finally woke up.
I was so pleasantly surprised by what a lively show Iron & Wine performed. Sam reacted to the obnoxious shouts of “I love your beard,” “I want to carry your child,” etc. with charm and wit, and within three songs I found myself more enamored than ever before. Their songs, which typically have the warmth of a record and the tone of a lullaby took on a strong jazz, blues and rock sensibility, causing the crowd to bounce around rather than rock to sleep, as I feared they might. Marketa and Aida joined Iron & Wine’s full stage of astoundingly gifted musicians to contribute their perfect harmonies. His line-up showed a fair span of favorites from albums past to more recent material, and it could only have been a more satisfactory show if I were the only one in the crowd… And in his life.
The only disappointment was the band on his left ring finger.
No, Sam, you take ME home.
Alas, I am doomed to love a musician.