Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop at The Kessler Theater in Dallas

sam beam and jesca hoop - love letter for fire-2

Don’t give up ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong.

You know how some albums take on a whole other quality when performed live? That was the case on Saturday May 28th, at The Kessler Theater in Dallas. Love Letter for Fire, the collaboration between Sam Beam of Iron & Wine and Jesca Hoop, is a collection of songs that beg to be listened to intently. Jesca Hoop’s voice beautifully compliments Sam Beams’ low whispery harmonic voice that he’s known for in songs like “Naked As We Came” and “Such Great Heights”—the latter being a cover song originally from The Postal Service.

Most of the songs performed that night were from the thirteen tracks off of Love Letter for Fire with some original songs from Iron & Wine and also Jesca Hoop. Sam and Jesca opened with the first track from their album,“Welcome to Feeling.” Which, I have to agree with NPR’s Stephen Thompson, is “all-too-brief.” The strings, the vocals, are just so beautiful on the opening track and only make me wish that the song lasted longer than fifty-eight seconds. Sam, brandishing a glorious beard, thankfully added one of my favorite Iron & Wine songs, “Resurrection Fern.” With added vocals by Jesca Hoop, the song was performed at a slower tempo and took on a very beautiful intimate feeling. There were a couple of lyrical stumbles which just made me appreciate both Sam and Jesca even more. Most notably during “Chalk It Up to Chi,” which had Ms. Hoop laughing uncontrollably during Sam’s deadpan delivery of the verse “I’m a sorry black boot, you’re a shiny marble.” I’m glad that they felt at home and were comfortable enough with us to be themselves. Sam and Jesca ended their set with “Valley Clouds”—the eleventh song from their album—a beautiful song both lyrically and vocally that really shows how beautifully their voices combine. Thankfully, Mr. Beam and Ms. Hoop had one more song for us. As an encore performance, the duo performed an emotional and beautiful version of Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up.” “Don’t give up ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong,” wise words to live by.

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop finish their Love Letter for Fire tour with the only other stop in Texas being in Austin on July 23, 2016, and a final stop at Long Beach, California on September 24, 2016. I wish them both safe travels, and want to thank them for a memorable night, and, also, hope to see them again soon.



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