An Evening With Friends…

Calexico – Iron & Wine – Salvador Doran live in Switzerland

Another concert night yesterday. And as I entered the concert hall, my first thought was that this would have been a great location for Mew‘s gig, with the big screen behind the stage. Well, maybe next time…

Back to yesterday. Sam Beam and his friends from Iron & Wine entered the stage for their first ever concert in Switzerland. Now I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Iron & Wine. It’s ok music for some moments, but nothing that would make me go out and buy everything available. On the other hand, it’s very good to see that there are still musicians around that can entertain an audience with nothing more than a guitar and a microphone. So Sam started off very slowly with four songs (I only recognized Cinders And Smoke), accompanied by his sister Sarah. Then Calexico‘s Joey Burns joined the stage for two more songs, and the pace was raised which I thought was a welcome change. They played two songs together, and then Joey left again leaving Iron & Wine to finish their set with some more songs. Overall I was very pleased with Iron & Wine. Sam‘s a very sympathic guy with great songwriting skills. He surely left a positive impression on his first Swiss gig.

After a short break, Joey Burns entered the stage and introduced us to Salvador Doran, a mexican singer who has already toured the US with Calexico and Iron & Wine. Burns said that he was the shining star at all the concerts, and in the next 15 minutes, Salvador proved that he deserves those praises! His voice and guitar work was just incredible, and I’ll probably never forget the animal noises he mixed into his songs! Guessing from the audience’s reaction, Doran had also become the star of this evening.

Finally, Calexico came onstage, and with the help of Salvador, they opened with one of my Garden Ruins favourites, Roka. I love the female voice on the CD version, but with that amazing voice of Doran, it sounded even better! Following up was Across The Wire, another favourite, and Letter To Bowie Knife, a great one from Garden Ruins. Compared to the last concert a few years ago, I noticed that the sound got much more “heavier”, basically because of those new songs. It suits them well, but I’ve missed that intimate feeling from the past one a bit. Still, they managed to create a magical feeling with Black Heart, probably my all-time-favourite. After a bit more than an hour, Calexico closed their solo set with an excellent version of Alone Again Or and Crystal Frontier. Then Iron & Wine and Salvador Doran entered the stage again.

Next up were the songs from the collaboration album In The Reins, and it was Salvador Doran‘s big moment (again!) showing his fantastic voice on He Lays In The Reins. Following were three more songs from that album, and a great cover version of the Rolling StonesWild Horses, and that concluded this part of the concert.

As an encore, we were again treated to a fantastic song from Salvador Doran, this time supported by both Calexico and Iron & Wine. Closing the show was the ever amazing Guero Canelo, which was another proof that Calexico still is one of the best live acts around.

It was a great concert night, with lots of music, lots of people onstage and lots of surprises, the biggest one being Salvador Doran. Joey, go and tell the people back in America that he did shine in Europe, too!

Treats for you:
Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came (MP3)
Iron & Wine – Jesus The Mexican Boy (MP3)
Calexico – Stray (Live) (MP3)
Calexico – Cruel (MP3)
Calexico – Across The Wire (Acoustic)

There’s also a review and a whole concert (including playlist) on NPR, available as MP3:
Iron & Wine
Salvador Duran

…and sorry about the grainy pics… forgot my camera again and had to take them with my cellphone…


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