Show Review: Beirut @ ACL Live

Zach Condon brought Beirut to town after playing Free Press Fest in Houston on the way to Bonaroo. New material is starting to trickle out to the intarwebs, but the older songs show no age as they are timeless. The mix of a little new material with the best of the band’s catalog made for an amazing and sweeping playlist for an artist just twenty-five years of age. Twin Sister came along for this gig at the Moody Theater at ACL Live (what I now call the Bat Cave).

More about the show and plenty of pics after the jump…

Twin Sister hails from Long Island, fronted by Andrea Estella. When she came to the stage, blond hair in a bun, another photog was taken aback as the last time around she was auburn and pierced. She is unassuming when front and center, seemingly nervous and shy. I know of their last EP Color Your Life from airtime on Radio K. I enjoy the sweeping soundscapes and haunting, hollow chords. And while shooting I noticed at least part of the reason the reason for the unique guitar sound may stem from Eric Cardona’s learned style, a guitar strung right-handed played left-handed.

“Lady Daydream” is certainly my favorite of their tracks, soulful, yet bashful. The new track, “Bad Street”, is available for download on their site and sounded great, a bit of a change up to older material.

After the tear down of the opener’s gear, Beirut filed on to the stage. Zach’s smooth tenorous vocals waited through the build-up as the band started with “The Concubine”, accordion and glockenspiel setting the tone. “Elephant Gun” acted as the true opening song, ukulele now on his chest, the first of many that elicited the crowd’s vocals. Later in the song, he reached for his horn and joined band mate Kelly Pratt to belt out the horn instrumental. The first three concluded with “The Shrew”, waltzy and perfect.

Some more song notes: “Postcards from Italy” reminds the wife of our dearly departed Maggie dog, eliciting some sniffles. “Sunday Smile” stuck in my head as we left the venue later, so very good. “Nantes” pulled me in and removed the crowd from my field of view. “East Harlem”, the first single from the new work due in August, followed and while good honestly seemed a little out of place. Gulag Orkestar’s “After the Curtain” closed the regular set easing the crowd into the brief intermission.

The Encore was kicked off by “Goshen”, the B-Side to “East Harlem”. “My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille” worked. It worked beautifully. There was singing. “Carousels” set up “Mount Wrolclai”. This is the best song I have ever heard; at least it was while they were playing it. The crowd singing the melody, all the elements coming together – drums, horns, accordion, the setback vocal, it was perfect. And to let us off easy was “The Gulag Orkestar”…

I will freely admit I have been to better shows this year, but this one sounded the best, a great pairing of venue and artist. It was gorgeous.

More pics are avialable over at the photog site here.

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