now playing: beirut
  • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 01, 2009

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photos by Maureen Pitz. See more photos HERE.

You could tell what kind of a show it was going to be 3 hours before the doors even opened. Outside, a few stone cold kids stood shivering on line. Their hope? Get through those restrictive doors by any means necessary. A sold out show meant not all of them would make it. But if by chance a few did, a fantastic night of music featuring Brooklyn's own Beirut awaited them.

Zach Condon would choose to begin Beirut's set with a simple "Good evening everyone", diving immediately into the set, to the rapturous applause of the hundreds in attendance. Using an impressive variety of instrumentation (stand-up bass, accordion, trumpet, trombone, french horn, euphonium, and Condon's signature ukulele), the band played a batch of tunes that appropriately ushered the audience to a variety of places around the world. With "Cherbourg" Beirut took the attendees to France. "Gulag Orkestar" sparked a quick trip to the Balkans. During "The Shrew", a song from Beirut's brand new EP March of the Zapotec, Mexico became the destination of choice. They also dabbled in a track called "My Night With a Prostitute from Marseille"; this one from Zach Condon's Realpeoples' Holland EP.

At the end of their full set, Condon would be forced to tell the still hungry crowd, "You've bled us dry at this point"; a statement that would hardly deter the crowd from demanding more. Two encores later, the love affair between Beirut and the fans in attendance was complete. They ended the show with a cover of a dancy old Brazilian song, written by Ary Barroso called "Aquarela do Brasil" ("Watercolor of Brazil"); a lighthearted way to send the happy crowd off into the cold streets of Brooklyn indeed. - Greg Lozoff

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VIDEO: Beirut at Music Hall of Williamsburg

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