On yet another gorgeous evening at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in Lafayette, NY, Andrew Bird and Iron & Wine dazzled the packed amphitheater with a stunning show. Touring on Bird’s new record Inside Problems as the Outside Problems Tour the show opened with soulful singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and her group delivering a heartfelt set which was followed by Iron & Wine and then Andrew Bird with his full band for a spectacular night. The sunset lingering over the surrounding valley was the perfect backdrop.
Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine, has been producing records since 2002. His banter with the audience was charming as he moved in and out of songs from his 20-year career, even showing his interest in the area by talking about famous former residents. He weaved Grace Jones and Tom Cruise into a narrative that reappeared later in the set, eliciting chuckles from the crowd.
Iron & Wine projects have been compared to such classics and contemporaries as Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Neil Young, and Elliot Smith. Despite these comparisons, Beam has his own unique style and commands the stage with a laid-back grace and humorous banter.
After a short break Andrew Bird regaled the audience with a great set with tracks from his new album as well as old favorites, using his famed violin that soared in harmony with the other musicians. Bird often uses a picking style as well and with his incredible vocal arrangements and whistling his songs are beautiful and catch the listener. After showing off his skill on guitar as well, Bird eventually brought Beam onto the stage where they played together and were also joined by the entire band with a grassroots-style mini set that captured the magic of this gorgeous Tuesday night.
Dan Smalls Presents and Beak & Skiff have really stepped it up for this season’s summer music series. There is still much more to come including Gov’t Mule, Dashboard Confessional, Here & There Festival, Wild Hearts Tour, The Decembrists, and Wilco. Tickets are available on their website and if this Outside Problems Tour comes near you, we suggest you get to it. Both artists were incredible and shared a passion for performing together.
Iron & Wine Setlist:
Such Great Heights (The Postal Service cover)
On Your Wings
Call It Dreaming
Rabbit Will Run
Grace for Saints and Ramblers
Flightless Bird, American Mouth
Father Mountain (Iron & Wine and Calexico cover)
Naked as We Came
Andrew Bird Setlist:
Make a Picture
Just the Two of Us (Bill Withers cover) (with Sam Beam) (incomplete)
Orpheo (with Sam Beam)
Muddy Hymnal (Iron & Wine cover) (with Sam Beam)
Left Handed Kisses (with Sam Beam)
Lion’s Mane (with Sam Beam) (Iron & Wine Cover)
Lusitania (with Sam Beam)
Pulaski at Night
Photos by Mike Kohli: