Posted in music on July 5, 2006

I couldn't get a ticket. Luckily Jerry Yeti was there. He wrote this post....

Belle & Sebastian @ Battery ParkBelle & Sebastian @ Battery Park

"Maybe I'll read off the sponsors again" the MC joked to the audience yesterday as the rain died off and Belle & Sebastian were about to take the stage. He didn't, but he did quiz us on the founding sponsor of the River to River Festival. Hint: it has the word "American" in it and it's not American Apparel.

As we waited following Martha Wainwright, the venue played Neko Case's "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" and I began to have horrible – and yet wonderful- memories of Sasquatch and the weather that once silenced Neko. Would it also silence Belle & Sebastian? Indeed, the rain came as expected but then fled like a bunch of Loyalists and Redcoats, retreating from the fort at the Southwest Battery. When all was clear, Stuart Murdoch led us triumphantly through a pop-filled afternoon. Murdoch's a fan of banter, and there were plenty of remarks made about them deciding whether to recognize our independence after all these 230 years. Scotland has always been a bully like that. The band was puzzled why we booked a Scottish band to play our Independence Day. Murdoch suggested that perhaps it's because they're an Indie band. Or as I could imagine AA Milne writing:

"Oh Piglet," said Pooh. "I forgot. It's Indiebandance Day!"

The multitude of band members –plus a couple sitting in from the Battery Park Philharmonic or something- filled the multifaceted sound quit nicely. I always found Murdoch's voice alluringly weak, like that kid in every movie who has never sang a note in his life and suddenly there he is up on stage singing for the first time… and it's marvelous. Untrained, but imperfectly perfect. "Lord Anthony" could be that kid, and it was easily my favorite song of the day.

I didn't pay close attention for the entirety of the nearly two hours they played. Twenty minutes into the performance, I was distracted by a sea of incoming messages, reading "goal goal goal!!!" and from another friend, "Gooooooooooooal!!!" This was followed by a second deluge of messages a minute later as Italy scored its second goal over Germany in two minutes… all in the final seconds of tripleteenth overtime.

This may not mean much for our country, but may I remind you that USA tied Italy with only 9 players? So in a roundabout way, it was a good moment to be an American.

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And I'll add this bit from Gothamist: "Masters at working the crowd, the band had the audience hanging on every word, lyric, sound and move. One fan was brought up on stage, one asked to apply mascara on singer Stuart Murdoch and one taking the mic to help sing. Murdoch also addressed the whole ticket issue, not mentioning that coffee shop by name, saying if they had known they would have surely done something about it."

MORE B&S TOUR DATES
July 06 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl -backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Shins opening
July 08 - Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion with Broken Social Scene

Previously
Get Belle & Sebastian tix by applying for an Amex
the Belle & Sebastian / Starbucks ticket fiasco

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Comments (41)

easily ones of the best shows i've been to. It was definitely worth sifting through the ticket mess and waiting through the rain (which actually helped by bringing the place down to a reasonable temperature)

Posted by andrew | July 5, 2006 1:22 PM

bet you it didnt beat seeing their first nyc show at the supper club in 1998.

boo yah.

Posted by sam | July 5, 2006 1:38 PM

Anyone check out the after party? I left before anyone from the band arrived. Anybody stay longer?

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 1:46 PM

i was there too:
http://www.themodernage.org/2006/07/04/belle-and-sebastian-on-the-fourth-of-july-there-was-a-f-ck-up-at-city-hall/

i should've gone to the afterparty and made googly eyes at the hot bassist. dreamboat!

Posted by laura | July 5, 2006 1:48 PM

"Murdoch also addressed the whole ticket issue, not mentioning that coffee shop by name, saying if they had known they would have surely done something about it."

What does that mean? Could B&S have vetoed Starbucks's participation had they been informed of it far enough in advance? I mean, I'd be surprised if an act like B&S that doesn't have much weight to throw around, based on album sales, could do that.

Posted by Bill Bored | July 5, 2006 1:54 PM

They played in NYC before the Supper Club shows, and I'm sure none of the shows beat seeing them open for Tindersticks in '96 at a small venue in London.

Posted by Erik B | July 5, 2006 2:03 PM

bet you it didnt beat seeing their first nyc show at the supper club in 1998.

Sorry Sam - their first NYC & North American show was at the Angel Orensanz Center in Sept '97. Here's the setlist. (I was at the Supper Club shows, too.)

Posted by chules | July 5, 2006 2:04 PM

My dad can beat up your dad.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:15 PM

I didn't go, but I saw the first night at the Nokia, which I thought was excellent.

Did anyone out there catch both of these shows.? How did Battery Park compare to Nokia?

Posted by r | July 5, 2006 2:22 PM

The first Nokia show (wasn't there for night two) was definitely better, although that might have had to do with them playing half of If You're Feeling Sinister, my favorite record of theirs.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:30 PM

Oh yeah, I saw Stuart Murdoch play a private show back in Scotland when he was 14 years old. There were only 5 people present and I killed the other 4 to make sure that I'd be the only one alive who had been to the show. I also have a bootleg of the show . . . it's 6 hours lang, is friggen awesome, and I not going to share it with anyone. Na na nana na!

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:32 PM

Oh yeah, I saw Stuart Murdoch play a private show back in Scotland when he was 14 years old. There were only 5 people present and I killed the other 4 to make sure that I'd be the only one alive who had been to the show. I also have a bootleg of the show . . . it's 6 hours long, is friggen awesome, and I not going to share it with anyone. Na na nana na!

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:33 PM

Oh yeah, I saw Stuart Murdoch play a private show back in Scotland when he was 14 years old. There were only 5 people present and I killed the other 4 to make sure that I'd be the only one alive who had been to the show. I also have a bootleg of the show . . . it's 6 hours long, is friggen awesome, and I not going to share it with anyone. Na na nana na!

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:33 PM

B&S played my mother's womb back in '77, that shit was hott. They really rocked Saddam Hussein's ass. The crowd roared like a lion.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 2:46 PM

My tigermilk is hotter than your tigermilk.

Posted by Dfactor | July 5, 2006 3:05 PM

Who cares? The Italy-Germany game was on instead. That trumped any B&S concert. (btw, I saw them in 1999-2000)

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2006 3:14 PM

Well, *I* met Andy Warhol at a really chic party!

Posted by Danceteria type | July 5, 2006 3:19 PM

i gave bill clinton head.

Posted by daniel | July 5, 2006 3:47 PM

I'm just happy the blogoshpere is around to clue us in on obscure indie bands like Belle & Sebastian. They're even better than Milky Wimpshake.

Posted by rabbit | July 5, 2006 5:21 PM

More photos here.

Posted by martha | July 5, 2006 8:43 PM

More photos.

Posted by martha | July 5, 2006 8:44 PM

I have extra tickets to see Camera Obscura on Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom that I am selling for face value. If you are interested please contact me at chillsus2 at yahoo.com.
Thanks!

Posted by R | July 5, 2006 9:07 PM

I Have a spare PIT ticket for BELLE & SEBASTIAN, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, and TED LEO show on Saturday (8 July) happening between Baltimore & DC, that I'll give (read:FREE) to anyone unable to attend the free July 4th show, while this board is internationally known I figure the bulk of the readers are here on the East Coast, and while the "unemployed hipsters" may not typically have the wherewithal to get out of the NYC area perhaps a free ticket will help the cause, I only ask that you actually use it and not try to sell it. It's for the Pit area in front of the stage.

FESTIMAD@MAC.COM

Posted by Bernard Crawford | July 5, 2006 10:24 PM

I Have a spare PIT ticket for BELLE & SEBASTIAN, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, and TED LEO show on Saturday (8 July) happening between Baltimore & DC, that I'll give (read:FREE) to anyone unable to attend the free July 4th show, while this board is internationally known I figure the bulk of the readers are here on the East Coast, and while the "unemployed hipsters" may not typically have the wherewithal to get out of the NYC area perhaps a free ticket will help the cause, I only ask that you actually use it and not try to sell it. It's for the Pit area in front of the stage.

FESTIMAD@MAC.COM

Posted by B | July 5, 2006 10:25 PM

I guess I'm surprised that so many attendees were so wowed by the setlist. There were so many songs I would've paid to hear over picks like Jonathan David (Stevie Jackson has the worst voice ever), Sukie in the Graveyard, Don't Leave the Light On Baby... Boring! And why the heavy focus on Catastrophe? That album wasn't worth such attention. (Well, maybe if I'd heard Piazza, New York Catcher and/or Wrapped Up In Books I wouldn't be complaining so loudly.) Seriously though, I was CRAVING, as I always do, more Sinister/Arab Strap songs. Get Me Away, Mayfly, Ease Your Feet... I know, I know, I need to get over it. Bands generally forgo the early stuff in favor of the new, and they must have tired of singing those old ones years ago... Still, I was disappointed.

Posted by k10 | July 5, 2006 11:59 PM

Thanks for sharing your memeory, but It wasnt Neko FCBF, it was The New Pornographers- "Bones of an Idol" and These are the Fables.

Posted by tacotote | July 6, 2006 12:15 AM

Thanks for sharing your view of reality, but It wasnt Neko FCBF, it was The New Pornographers- "Bones of an Idol" and These are the Fables.

Posted by tacotote | July 6, 2006 12:16 AM

Thanks for sharing your view of reality, but It wasnt Neko FCBF, it was The New Pornographers- "Bones of an Idol" and "These are the Fables".

Posted by tacotote | July 6, 2006 12:16 AM

opps. right voice, wrong songs.

Posted by jerry | July 6, 2006 1:28 AM

I liked that the setlist was so different from their March Nokia shows. And I was thrilled they played "The Model!"

Why the hate for Stevie's voice? He's a cutie and Jonathan David is a fun song.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2006 2:06 PM

Great set, fun encore. Good show all around. Amusing to watch the kids at the front of the line to enter the park run to the stage - though I guess it paid off since three of them got to interact with the band.

Posted by salty | July 6, 2006 4:47 PM

oh man, that stampede to enter the park was hilarious! although i was pretty pissed off at all the people cutting the line claiming to be "looking for a friend" or "wanting to stand in the shade." i waited in the hot midday sun for 2 hours to get my good seat, if they got there late, that is their problem. there was a general lack of courtesy at the show. when i was lying on my blanket, someone actually stomped on my hair. and people walked across our blankets multiple times without saying excuse me. and this mutant tall guy came and stood right in front of a group of girls all shorter than 5'6". what's wrong with people?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2006 7:09 PM

If you are short, blame Mother Nature, not those that are physically superior to you.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2006 7:29 PM

Was anyone else at that Town Hall show in 2003 where that girl sang Lazy Line Painter Jane with them?

Posted by millie | July 7, 2006 12:57 PM

"If you are short, blame Mother Nature, not those that are physically superior to you."

FYI: 5'5" is above average height for american women. The point is he was a jerk for not being considerate in the first place and then not moving when we nicely asked him to.

Posted by Anonymous | July 8, 2006 1:22 PM

well 5'8 is average height for men so women can suck it!

Posted by Anonymous | July 8, 2006 1:24 PM

i was at the town hall when the girl sang. that was the shit the way she got everyone to stand up. also the rendition of "day in the life" when it was called from the audience made it one of the best, most memorable nights.

Posted by jehoviah | July 16, 2006 4:34 AM

not too bad

Posted by WOW GOLD | December 2, 2008 11:10 PM

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