Amongst a very attractive line-up including Metronomy, The Vaccines and Franz Ferdinand, Beirut clearly stood out during Field Day 2012. Zach Condon and his band arrived on Eat Your Own Ears Stage around 8:00pm; when it was still daytime on a lovely spring day.
The orchestra composed of a trumpet, an accordion, a drum, a trombone, a double bass, and the singer - switching between a ukulele and a trumpet - opened the ball with Santa Fe. Yes the ball, the festival literally became a ball! Not only the audience in front of the stage were dancing and partying, but people miles around too!
With their trumpets, trombones, and accordions, Beirut brought to the festival the warmth of a village fete. It was so convivial, strangers were all cheering and dancing together, swapping partners now and then. It was simply beautiful.
But most importantly, what Condon and his band achieved with their music could almost be called a miracle. It literally operated like a time machine! Playing folkloric balkan music in 2012 is already risky. Being successful at it is impressive. But getting thousands of people to dance to it… It's completely unreal!
After 14 songs, the sun set and Beirut played their last but not least Gulag Orkestar. The power of that composition, of the wind instruments, of Zach Condon's voice, of the light and warm rain falling… That whole hair-rising combination was simply mystical.