It’s Monday, I know. It is kind of the punishment that all mid-sized markets have to deal with. The bigger acts will come through town, but you aren’t going to get the two night Friday/Saturday shows that a New York is going to have. That being said, in New York tickets would have sold out in 10 minutes flat, and you would’ve paid three times face value to see the band. So, I should stop complaining and just tell you what is going on tonight in Nashville.
Tonight is the premier of Sigur Ros’ Inni at The Belcourt, but you have all week to see that, so I’ll be checking out Beirut tonight. You might remember me talking about them after their set at Bonnaroo and again at Outside Lands, and I also wrote up a little diddy about them when their Nashville date was announced and after their Tiny Desk Concert was released. That’s a lot of talking about them already, so let me tell you why I think this is worth a bit of your time tonight.
Beirut is really Zach Condon. Condon dropped out of high school, and traveled Europe discovering Eastern European and Balkan music. At the age of 19, Condon started recording music in his Santa Fe, New Mexico bedroom, and received pretty immediate critical acclaim for his initial release Gulag Orkestar. And from there, the sky was the limit for Condon. He became affiliated with production folks behind the success of Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire. He released a second LP, The Flying Cup Club, and shot a pretty awesome Blogotheque video (see below). World-wide notoriety ensued including an oddly enormous following in Brazil (is the similarity to Brazilian Farro music?, I dunno). In 2009, Condon and Co. released a double EP, entitled March Of The Zapotec/Holland. The former being a continuation of the musical style that Beirut had become famous for. Holland consisted of a much more electronic sound (that reminded me of a European Postal Service when I first heard it). I started to lose faith after that double EP release. This year, however, Beirut has returned to form with the release of The Rip Tide. While Pitchfork didn’t agree with me (shocking), it is exactly what I had been waiting for out of Beirut.
So, now that you have a little bit of history about Beirut, let me tell you why I think it is going to be so great tonight. Beirut puts on an amazing live show. I saw them several years ago in San Francisco at a little club, and it was good… but the band was just getting started. Since then, I’ve seen them twice more at festivals, and it was great. The amazing part about that is that bands are limited at big outdoor festivals. The sets and sound checks are shortened and you are generally in a booming outdoor space that isn’t conducive to Beirut’s style of music. So, you will have the opportunity to see them tonight at a smallish venue in The Cannery Ballroom. This is totally going to be worth your time and money.
I’ve attached a (flash required) player with a few of my favorite Beirut tracks below, and I also attached one of their Blogotheque videos. Tickets are still available here, and things get started tonight around 8pm with opener Ramesh. It’s worth the slightly tired Tuesday, so get out and see some live music!
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