Beirut: Tiny Desk Concert Beirut arrived at the NPR Music offices dusty and exhausted following a weekend at Bonnaroo in Tennessee. But after some much-needed showers, the band brought infectious joy to its short set behind the Tiny Desk.

Tiny Desk

Beirut

Beirut: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140599451/140668235" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

It was a long, dusty trail to the Tiny Desk. Beirut had just finished a show at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., where it had been a brutal 100-plus degrees outside. Without a chance to bathe between there and here, the band needed to be led to NPR's basement showers, at which point things began to look up. Zach Condon and company came up beaming, clean and ready to play — a bit exhausted, but with a handful of inspired new tunes.

Condon, the guy who started Beirut as a solo project, had a big grin as the band began to warm up — appropriate, given that there's something about the tunes on Beirut's new album, The Rip Tide, that seem to wear that big grin. When the brass kicked in, everyone at NPR seemed to smile, too. Infectious music does that.

Beirut's inspiration, music from the Balkans mixed with a tinge of Mexican folk, often conveys bittersweet feelings. But much of The Rip Tide leans toward joy and hints at celebration. The band's tip of the hat to "Santa Fe" provides a good example of that.

Beirut only intended to play two tunes, opening with "East Harlem," but with a crowd gathered and spirits high, it belted out a number intended just for those gathered: "Serbian Cocek," a traditional tune with an arrangement by the band's friend and fellow New Mexico musician Jeremy Barnes. (You may know Barnes from his project A Hawk and a Hacksaw.) The result was too much fun to leave on the cutting-room floor, so with Beirut's blessing, we've included it here.

Set List

  • "East Harlem"
  • "Sante Fe"
  • "Serbian Cocek"

Credits

Michael Katzif (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Tucker Walsh/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Moses Sumney plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Moses Sumney (Home) Concert

The singer-songwriter performed music from his new album, græ, from his home in North Carolina.

Melanie Faye plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Melanie Faye (Home) Concert

Melanie Faye stole the show during Masego's Tiny Desk concert, so we invited her to perform her own quarantine concert.

Kate Davis plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Kate Davis (Home) Concert

One of our favorite indie rock lyricists performs a four-song concert for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

John Legend plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

John Legend (Home) Concert

This four-song set for Tiny Desk's quarantine series is utter joy.

Lyric Jones plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Lyric Jones (Home) Concert

The Boston-born, Los Angeles-based rapper does it all in this performance for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Thao Nguyen plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Thao Nguyen (Home) Concert

Thao is joined by two cellists in this remarkable set for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Lucinda Williams plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Watch Lucinda Williams Play A Tiny Desk From Home

Lucinda Williams and her guitar mate, Stuart Mathis, set up shop for a Tiny Desk home concert at Thirty Tigers' headquarters in Nashville.

Nilüfer Yanya plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Nilüfer Yanya (Home) Concert

After performing for us last year, Nilüfer Yanya rejoins the Tiny Desk team from afar, performing three works from her last album and debuting a new song.

Tom Adams plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tom Adams (Home) Concert

The singer and songwriter plays four new songs from his home in Cornwall, accompanied by a modular synthesizer and fronted by Adams' gifted falsetto.

Lenny Kravitz plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Lenny Kravitz (Home) Concert

The bohemian rock icon performs a Tiny Desk quarantine concert from his home in the Bahamas.

Back To Top