2007-10-01beirut @ la sala rossa i went to last night's show with rox. she's already posted a thorough rundown of the evening.
the opening act alaska in winter already started to play when the doors opened. too bad we missed the beginning of the act. this was one of those one-guy-disguised-as-a-band solo type of project. on stage, the guy mostly sang through a vocoder, busting out a few dance moves. the music was some kind of atmospheric lite electro (like something between m83 and imogen heap). but the entertaining part was the screen in the background, showing an array of videos of the guy playing all the instruments. he kept referring to his band as "we" when in fact the "band" was really just him and his clones on the screen. he even changed outfits to match whatever he was wearing in the videos.
alaska in winter, stripped down to his final outfit, including fuzzy hat, with his "band" on the screen:
the next act was colleen, another solo act, layering her music by playing sounds into a loop. it was suggested that we all sit on the ground during her performance. and so, there we sat, just next to the stage, meaning we could not see the performer at all. from what i heard, it was all instrumental, each piece focusing on one instrument. the first piece was on cello, the second on clarinet. the third piece was on acoustic guitar, but with a musical box sound in the background. the final piece was back on cello, but with wind chimes in the background.
i managed to sneak a picture while sitting down:
finally, beirut came on stage. i was surprised that all eight members managed to fit on the small stage along with all their instruments: trumpets, ukulele, violin, accordion, mandolin, cello, guitar, drums, flute, glockenspiel, tambourine, and more.
with this full band, it sounded like a mini-orchestra, playing this balkan-inspired indie pop. happy music i would have danced to, if given more room in that crowded venue. band leader zach condon sang in an almost operatic manner, waving his hands up, as if giving an important speech. haha, cute.
in between songs, he mostly spoke in french, with a very french accent. heh. i'm glad he included a cover of jacques brel's "le moribond" in the set. fun song (with not-so-fun lyrics, i think they are final words of a dying man). and every time he sang "je veux qu'on rie, je veux qu'on danse", i felt like doing a jig, haha.
i tried to get a picture of all the band members, but i think i missed the violinist, hiding behind those ukulele/mandolin players.
oops, i used the flash. notice the cute horn tattoos on the wrists:
the songs they played were familiar, but not familiar enough for me to know all the song titles. luckily, rox got one of the setlists after the show:
after the encore, singer zach condon came back on stage, alone with his ukulele. there was a joke about not needing the rest of the band, which resulted in an empty beer bottle rolling out from the side of the stage, probably thrown by a band member. funny. his final song was a cover of "hallelujah". it seems to be a popular live cover; i should learn the lyrics.
cd purchases: the first thing i got at the merch table were all the beirut cd's, since i had none of them: the debut "gulag orkestar", the follow-up ep "lon gisland", and the most recent "the flying club cup" that they were selling even though the official release date is next week. yay! then, after alaska in winter's set, i got his "dance party in the balkans".