Beirut Album

Zach Condon and his band, Beirut, will bring their unique form of Balkan-influenced music to the Greek Theater in Berkeley on October 10.

Beirut’s first three albums were expansive affairs featuring songs crammed full of diverse instrumentation, including glockenspiels, sousaphones, and electric organs. Although influenced by the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel as well as traditional French and Roma musicians, Condon appeared to have Beirut heading in a more pop direction with the group’s last album, 2011’s The Rip Tide, easily its most accessible release to date.

However, after a four-year break, Condon and company have returned with a low-key affair in No No No, which came out on September 11. Contrasting with Beirut’s earlier work (which was originally just a solo vehicle for Condon), the new album’s arrangements are focused mostly on Condon’s piano playing, and while there are moments of flourishes, No No No is largely a statement in classy minimalism.

Even though Condon scaled back things for his latest album, the Greek Theater still seems an appropriate venue for a band capable of grand, theatrical shows. The venerable amphitheater’s classical surroundings are a perfect environment for a group so indebted to traditional music.

Opening for Beirut will be Julia Holter, whose latest album, Hold Me In Your Wilderness, is drawing widespread critical acclaim.

To enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Beirut at the Greek Theater, email with “Beirut” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email.

Beirut, Julia Holter
The Greek Theater, Berkeley
October 10, 2015
8pm, $39.50