The Beirut show last night was a little bittersweet; bitter because the two opening bands sounded like high school band practice, or as one friend put, the Blue Bear School of Music. So let's not dwell on them too long. Because what came next was scrumptious.
When the band I paid to see finally did take the stage, we were dished out a gastronomic feast of sounds from French horn to accordion to violin and to last but not least Zach Condon's sweetly crooning vocals and sharp trumpet. I wanted to close my eyes and jump into the music just like they did in that a-ha music video from back in the day. His voice was equivalent to the European Style Strauss Family yogurt I eat for breakfast every morning. Or it was like a hot steamy aromatherapy bubble bath with rose petals. This bandleader has so much talent for such a young guy (he's 22 years old), and the sound is not your run-of-the-mill garage band, but highly researched Eastern European and Balkan melodies that this kid from Santa Fe somehow pulls off with mysterious panache. I'm probably not the first to compare Condon's voice and songwriting ability to that of Morrissey, Ian Curtis or Rufus Wainwright, but he is a name to remember because I hope what we experienced last night is just a sign of more yummy things to come.
We brought them back on stage for two encores, when they performed one of my favorite tunes, Postcards from Italy, a few other sumptuous morsels before the show was over.