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Concert Review: Beirut Live at The Orpheum

Wednesday 27th, February 2019 / 15:58
By Esmée Colbourne

Photo by Zee Khan

The Orpheum
February 26, 2019

Photo by Zee Khan

Music and place are vital when engaging an audience. Narrative melodies and the enduringly magical Orpheum Theatre proved that even with years musicianship under their belt, Beirut could still fill a giant room with chirruping stories and uproarious sound. Touring new album Gallipoli, Beirut is an ensemble that is part Bavarian Oompah, part indie folk and part Banda music.

Photo by Zee Khan

Beirut opened with new song “When I Die.” Immediately what was noticeable was that every musician was in their 6th of the stage, singularly trusted with their element. They were all completely independent but all in sync in a way bands normally aren’t – no sense of chaos or internal movement on stage. No performativity, only stark concentration. Warbling romantically through classics such as “No No No”, “Santa Fe”, “The Shrew” and “A Call To Arms,” Condon seemed to fit perfectly in the brass trio that brought people to their feet for more. An audience wave of longing and roses thrown on the gilded stage brought Beirut back to fans huddled at their feet for an encore that lasted almost as long as their set and finally ended with “Gulag”.

Photo by Zee Khan

Photo by Zee Khan

The only slight disappointment was that Condon and his band lacked a little in audience. In what could have been the calculation of the over excited crowd, Beirut coyly kept most of their thoughts to themselves, choosing instead to showcase mass amounts of music, and repeating Thank You’s between every song. Overall though, The Orpheum, the high quality of music and the organic roundness of brass combined with Condon’s vibrato gave this performance a timeless quality that was highly enjoyable.

Alberta

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