Beirut @ Knitting Factory, NYC 5/10/06
“It’s our first show in New York, and the band is mostly new, so we we’re trying to keep it a bit low key and see how it goes,” Zach wrote to us a few weeks back. Then came the blog love. His “low key” wish turned into a packed house of eager Gulag gawkers, hoping to see the album’s majesty translated in concert.
The first show came off like … a first show. Songs ended with sheepish smiles and arm waves at the drummer (The National’s Bryan Devendorf). Ukeleles were tuned for minutes in between. Full bars of our faves rushed by while Zach switched instruments, making the four-man arrangements a bit limp. Still, the crowd was patient, and Zach showed talent and poise despite the glitches.
“We’re gonna play another from our album: ‘Mt. Wroclai’ … one of our smash blog hits,” Zach quipped. “But, that really doesn’t justify what I do to my parents. ‘I swear, I’m famous on the Internet, mom!'” For that moment, through Zach’s world-weary vibrato and the tune’s gypsy lilt, Beirut approached the album’s easy, dreamy charm, but the set felt more like a warm-up for something more. Give the live act some time. Get the album now (Amazon | iTunes).