I finally bit the bullet and bought tix to see Beirut. Okay, well, I bought them back in January for a show that wasn't happening until the end of the summer, which seemed a bit ridiculous to me at the time, especially because I tend to dislike outdoor shows. One might assume that such advance planning indicates a strong affinity for the band. Truth be told, I had dodged seeing this band for ages because I found their music a bit too twee for my tastes, but had gotten into their tunes a bit more last summer because of turntable.fm, so I figured I'd give them a roll.
(More pics including setlist, and words after the jump. Click to enlarge.)
I ended up taking my dear friend Hannah for her birthday since she is a fan of Beirut. Contrary to my worst fears, the day was glorious in terms of weather. I got in line earlyish for a spot up front, and found myself amongst uberfans, several of whom had ukuleles, and were strumming and singing their renditions of "Postcards From Italy." You know the type -- they probably did theatre in high school and are rabid followers of Glee, too. Like, omg. Anyway, we managed to snag some spots on the rail, front center, which made withstanding the singalongs worth it, and even met up with maddeningcrowd from TTFM.
Beirut sounded great. They were a really solid group of musicians with a nice mix of horns led by the young but seasoned Zach Condon, who alternated between trumpet and ukulele while handling vocals, which had a nice laid back crooner's quality. The music itself was uplifting at times, exhibiting a good mix of Balkan, funeral and circus influences. I knew a good number of songs from the not too lengthy set, which went on for about 75 minutes, which was just fine by me because their songs kinda sound the all the same to me after a while. Lovely, but not particularly distinguishable for me, yet a good soundtrack to the cool, dwindling end of summer.
I'm glad I caught Beirut, though I doubt I'll ever feel fussed to see them again. Mostly, I was happy that I got to hang with my girlie Hannah.