aaaaaaaaaahhh so good. he played everything I hoped he would—nantes, scenic world (with the accordion, part played by violin, so beautiful), brandenburg, and mount wroclai and carousels for the second encore, after a lot of people had left. so yeah, it was incredible. totally worth the 180-mile round trip and being dead tired at work today. PLUS I managed to snag the in-n-out hat he wore for two or three songs, while everyone else was fighting over the set lists that were left on stage. it was still damp with the sweat of zach condon. is that creepy?
the opening acts were good too, the first one was this huge folk ensemble that had the crescendo-laden sound of the arcade fire, and probably the most adorable lead-female-singer-slash-banjo-player ever, except, as brian said, she probably could have used a few drinks before coming on stage, so nervous and tense she looked. they also seriously had a mascot, this short little elfin dude that ran around onstage, totally channeling the music and occasionally would disappear for a second and reappear with a tuba that was literally as big as he was. I later learned from the mandolin player (who was at least six-foot-four—this was a band of disproportions) who was next to us during beirut that his name was Benito. totally fitting.
the second opener, the brunettes, were from new zealand and had great accents, but terrible terrible sound. god knows what was up with the sound techs, but it was a nightmare. they handled it with (mostly) aplomb and their obvious frustration was met with sympathy from the crowd. still, they only played three songs and left in disgust.
but then it was beirut and all was forgotten.
edit: now that people have woken up and uploaded their pictures of the concert to flickr, I have photographic proof of zach’s love for in-n-out, as well as an awesomely serendipitous comment on the post: