Sunday, March 04, 2012


The singer took the stage and the music started in soft drifting notes and then it built and built. There was a moment when I had this horrible worry that Zack Cordon would disappoint. That a voice as interesting and melodic as his would not actually be real, that nothing could be that real. I was not disappointed. Not only was the voice real, but his entire being embodied a wonderful modesty of someone who was  truly surprised that people enjoyed the music he made as much as he enjoyed making it. The lilting melody that fell from his lips was transcendent.

The band with him didn't hurt. A combination of some guitar, ukulele, several brass instruments and and a drum made Beirut an absolute joy to watch on stage. I was mesmerized by the flashing of trumpets and just transported by the beautiful tuba.

The tuba was nearest to where I was standing and this was not a problem for me. I would call it impassioned tuba playing, playing the tuba like there was no instrument left in the world. It was beautiful and melodic and supported the band, and also lilted and took over the melodies and rhythms as if it was the bass in a jazz band. It transported the music and added to the lyric, making for the most warm atmosphere in which to receive Beirut.


The crowd swayed together as we listened, and at one point Zack implored for us to dance which started a frenzy of gyrating bodies to the sounds of the Gulag Orkestar. The young Korean hipsters, and the EPIK teachers, and even the old fogy lifers like me, were all jumping up and down and crashing into each other resplendent with free and happy joy.

It was one of those shows that could have gone on forever. When the show finally came to the end we screamed and stomped for an encore. It was the last show of the Beirut tour, which was possibly why he decided to give us not one, but forty-five minutes more of songs to sing along and dance to. And we did not disappoint him in our enthusiasm for the music.

We danced until we spun out and finally had to accept being expelled into the cold night. The temperatures in Seoul had dropped to below zero, and I wrapped up in my scarf for a slog back to the hotel that was not that far away from the venue. The cold could not penetrate the musical coat that was keeping me warm and I heard lilting tuba in my ear as I finally drifted off to sleep, much too late at night.

1 comment:

linda said...

I just love the last sentence of this blog entry so so much.