Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cancel all operations, tell your friends to cool it

The Belle and Sebastian concert at the Riviera was highly entertaining. I really did not know what to expect. I went with my friend Jill, and we met Maya and Kali at the show. Though I have been a fan of Belle and Sebastian for years, the first time I had ever even seen more than a picture of them was a week ago when they were on Conan O'Brien. But the lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, is incredibly amusing, and his clever banter and fey ways between songs made the show all the more fun.

Stuart (Photos from B&S site, not taken by me)

The Riviera was packed for the sold-out show, and The New Pornographers got the show off to a good start. I don't really know them too well, but I liked their set.

Maya, Kali, and I discussed what song B&S would open with. I suggested maybe "Funny Little Frog" or "White Collar Boy" -- definitely something new. So we were quite surprised when they opened with "Expectations" from Tigermilk, their first album. It is a great song, but not what we expected.

I will say that I was disappointed that they did not play more songs from If You're Feeling Sinister (one song) and The Boy with the Arab Strap (two songs). These are my two favorite albums, so I would have liked to have heard more. But from what I gather, they really switch up their setlist each night, so some nights they play a lot more from those albums. Luck of the draw, I guess.

But despite that, the show itself was not a disappointment at all. Here are some highlights:

  • Of the new songs, I thought that "Sukie in the Graveyard" and "The Blues are Still Blue" sounded the best. Stuart has a very quirky dance style, and he showcased it well in these numbers.
  • The guitarist, Stevie Jackson, must be experienced to be believed. He wears this slim cut, mod-looking suit, so he looks all square, but when he dances, he does some kind of hand twirling, slo-mo thing that is hilarious. His movements stole the show on "Electronic Renaissance."
  • Who knew that Belle and Sebastian would be a crowd-surfing kind of band?
  • Stuart said that he had gotten an email from a man who suggested that his wife be allowed on stage to sing along to her favorite song. Stuart said that this normally would not be allowed, but why not? So he asked whether that couple was in the audience, the lady got on stage, and she looked very nervous. We were all hoping she would not suck and embarrass herself. So the band started "Lazy Line Painter Jane," which originally had a verse sung by guest vocalist Monica Queen. Anyway, the woman from the crowd, Amanda, nailed it. She was amazing. I am sure she will not forget that show.
  • They played one song that I had ever even heard before called "Your Cover's Blown," which is a B-side from "Wrapped Up in Books" off of Dear Catastrophe Waitress. It is an epic and funky extravaganza, and I loved every second of it. This was one of the best performances of the night.
  • Other great performances: "Piazza, New York Catcher"; "I'm a Cuckoo"; "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love"; "The State I Am In"
  • The encore was excellent, featuring "White Collar Boy"; "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying"; and "Sleep the Clock Around."


But the true highlight was when some greasy-haired bastard spilled his beer down Maya's back:

Maya: Hey, you spilled your beer all over me!
GHB: [Says nothing. Keeps walking.]
Maya: [Shoves GHB aggressively in shoulder] HEY! HEY! [Shoves again] You spilled your beer all over me!
GHB: [Taken aback. Scared.] I'm really sorry.
Maya: Well, why did you spill your beer on me!
GHB: I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. [Skulks away, tail between legs.]


At 11:23 AM, Blogger mayah posited...

good work. A+. i almost punched that bastard.

and stevie can have me anytime he wants.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Kid C posited...

I wish Maya would've "punched that bastard." I further wish that if she had, someone had gotten a picture of it as it happened.


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