After triumphantly storming Falls Festival, Beirut romanced the sold out Hi-Fi bar with their sweeping European sounds. Melbourne-based Otouto opened the evening with an interesting set that was a mixture of sweet pop with nervy undertones, the trio making their comeback to the live scene with the evenings support slot. Despite the notable lack of sharpness the band endeared themselves to the crowd with their collection of electro-pop gems, and are certainly a band to keep an eye on.
Zachary Condon and co took to the stage next as Beirut put in a rich performance that sent the Melbourne swooning over their Parisian sound. Switching between fan favourites and hits from their new album The Rip Tide, the Santa Fe natives had The Hi-Fi Bar smitten from the off. Opening with the charming ‘Scenic World’ in an array of brass, accordion and the rich croon of Condon, the audience watched in admiration of the musical talents that stood before them. Tracks like ‘Elephant Gun’, ‘Nantes’, and “Chesbourg’ all went down as smooth as Condon’s effortless charm. The band were so relaxed on stage, yet they somehow still managed to create an atmosphere worthy of their grand sound, their harmonizing was perfect and they move from casual instrumental work to brass fanfare in the blink of an eye. They truly are as impressive live as they are recorded.
The oldies were just as well received as the new ones off the group’s latest record. ‘Vangabond’, ‘Port Of Call’ and ‘Goshen’ all received a great reception amongst the crowd, but one of the biggest applauses for the night was reserved for Santa Fe. It’s driving beat against Condon’s soothing calls of ‘sign me up Santa Fe’ was one of the highlights of the evening, and a fine was to close the main set.
The band took to the stage for a substantially long encore, not that anyone was complaining. Signing off with fan favourites such as ‘My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille’ and ‘Gulag Orkestar’, Beirut successfully captivated and enticed the Melbourne crowd, showing just why they are selling dates out all over the country.