Beirut @ The Avalon, 10/11/07
Last Thursday I was lucky enough to see one of the most creative and exciting bands around, Beirut. The show was at The Avalon, which I actually had never been to before. And let me just say, that The Avalon has possibly one of the worst websites out there. It's painful to navigate, and the music that plays on it is absolutely cheeseball. Do your customers a favor and don't torture us when we want to order tickets for events at your venue.
I arrived a little late (after finding the most amazing spot right on Hollywood and Vine) and made it just in time to see the end of Alaska in Winter's set. He ended up being some guy singing over music that was coming out of his laptop. He wasn't half bad, but I wasn't really sad that I missed him either.
The second opening act was a woman just named Colleen. She was umm, kind of boring. The MC beforehand had everyone sit down, and she came out and started playing a cello looking thing, but I think it had more strings and a wider neck. And she played it, and that was it. I'm really open to hearing new kinds of music, but on this one, I grabbed a drink and sat outside waiting for her to finish doing her thing.
Around 10:30 or so, Beirut came on. This was the last show of their US tour (not counting the secret show at Amoeba the next day) and I was immediately excited and impressed at how great they were. There were 8 people on stage, and many of them ended up playing multiple instruments like ukuleles, saxophone, xylophone and even a French horn . They were incredible live, sounding just as good or better then their records. Their playlist included Sunday Smile, Postcards From Italy, Scenic World, Nantes and a bunch of other great stuff. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't play Carousels, my favorite song off of their Lon Gisland EP.
If you've never heard these guys before, I highly suggest watching the video above, and then buying their newest album The Flying Club Cup, one of the best albums of the year.