Once upon a time at the Make-Out Room, at one of those shows with a huge lineup of bands (a Seaweed Sway showcase, probably), we thought the crowd looked unusually sharp. "Next up, the Conspiracy of Beards
!" the emcee yelled. Delightful: an all-male a cappella Leonard Cohen cover choir. And we noticed a weird shift; all of a sudden it looked like a school of glowing amber orbs was floating toward the front of the room, drawn by some invisible force. It was easy to accept this vision as the magical-realistic gift from the Mission District that it was. But once the band was onstage we understood what had happened, and felt deep love, different kinds. The Conspiracy of Beards, probably 30-strong, all wore dark suits, and most had on fedoras, in homage to Cohen's famous style. Many were also holding glasses of beer or whiskey; our near-hallucination had simply been a beautiful misreading of the band walking toward the stage. They seemed to know all about it. They beamed; we beamed. Then they sang "Suzanne," and "So Long, Marianne," and "Chelsea Hotel," and we cried, and it was perfect, and we felt more love, different kinds.
The Conspiracy of Beards plays with Society of Rockets and Cyclub.
Tue., May 24, 9 p.m., 2011