Tonight, I went to an "Iron and Wine" concert at the Wiltern Theatre in Korea Town. Magical. I stand at 5'1" and standing/General Admission concerts usually suck for me, but this one was beautiful. I didn't see the band at all, but I stood in the back and closed my eyes and felt the music the whole time. There were at least 9 people on stage playing horns, keyboard, percussion, guitars, and 2 back-up singers. The singer sounded as beautiful as John Denver or Don Henley, and I got the sense that all of these 30-somethings grew up in the same early-80's American Apparel wonderland I did. The Southern accent when he spoke gave it all away... his hippy spirit most likely inherited from the Southern music culture I also remember being absorbed in. The male/female harmonies and calm approach to singing reminded me a bit of Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou, but with the soft quality of Nick Drake.
The feeling and passion in the music was all Southern. I felt transformed back to Jacksonville, FL, a place where people respect music as the therapy it is. When you go to a concert in any music-loving Southern town, you will find passionate musicians and passionate listeners.
Being in the same room as Iron and Wine tonight reminded me of what it feels like to get lost in music. When people talk through concerts, I find it very hard to empathize. When people get older and stop caring about music the way we did as teenagers, I get a little sad. Remember what it was like when you bought a new album and you would listen to it through headphones and read the lyrics, interpreting them as if the song was written specifically with you in mind? Your first concert? Do you remember how magical it was to be only 100 feet away from your favorite band, feel their presence and feel the power of their singing as it went straight into your ears, totally avoiding any filters like that of a CD or a Record?
Iron and Wine played 2 sold out concerts here in Los Angeles. Their music is slow, heartfelt, sincere, passionate, emotional. The world is changing. The world is ready to slow down and feel again. We seem ready for honesty, too. No more facades. The music of Iron and Wine reflects a community of people who value honest emotion, art, poetry, skill, and empathy.
Two Sold Out Concerts.