Since the release of their 2009 understated dual disc, March of the Zapotec/Holland EP, the Balkan-Pop band, Beirut, have been relatively quiet. Fast forward to the present and the band has thrust a surprise right hook with a tightly packed Summer 2011 tour, including major festivals as well as the release of their latest single, “East Harlem,” with the intent of a full-length album due in August.

Coming of off their Free Press Fest performance in Houston, Beirut casually strolled into Austin Wednesday night along with Twin Sister to perform at the new, state-of-the-art ACL Live/Moody Theater.

Long Island’s own Twin Sister took the honors of opening for Beirut. Fronted by the beautifully shy Andrea Estella, the indie pop band went comparatively unnoticed. Although a talented recording band, the live performance of Twin Sister lacked energy and focus. Twin Sister shows potential with their unique sound as evidenced by their latest single, “Bad Street” (available for free download).

After the breakdown of the opener’s gear, excitement and anticipation quickly set in. With the lights shining down on the stage, the concentrated build-up of “The Concubine” crept in until the blissful, undeniable voice of Zach Condon swept through and grabbed everyone by their hearts.

The set was a beautiful mixture of the band’s eclectic catalog, including timeless favorites from their debut album, Gulag Orkestar, and superior sophomore album, The Flying Club Cup. Audience sing-a-longs were in effect throughout but truly materialized on the idyllic track, “Nantes,” and were in full effect on “Cherbourg,” which closed the first set.

All of the intriguing elements of instrument changes worked perfectly on stage and appeared to please the crowd thoroughly. The encore began with “Goshen” and included the electro-pop side in “My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille” and ended with “The Gulag Orkestar.”

Overall, the energy of the show never truly exploded but that is with respect to the type of band Beirut is. The venue’s sound was a perfect pairing with the audible qualities of the artists and made for one of the most magnificent shows I have had the pleasure of attending.

– Submitted by Zack Flores, Music Design