Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Belle and Sebastian @ Battery Park

I Fought in a War//Another Sunny Day//The Model//Sukie in the Graveyard//Don't Leave the Light on Baby//La Pastie de la Borgiosie//Jonathan David//If She Wants Me//If You're Feeling Sinister//Lord Anthony//Dirty Dream Number Two//Funny Little Frog//I'm a Cuckoo//Your Cover's Blown//The Wrong Girl//White Collar Boy//Sleep the Clock Around

Star Spangled Banner//Boy with the Arab Strap

For the third time in eight months, I got to see Belle and Sebastian live. This was their second best show, not quite up to the performance at the Nokia theater in March, but better than their previous outdoor show at Across the Narrows in October.

The thing I really liked about this show was that they mixed up the setlist. They've got a huge back catalog, and always do a good job of mixing new and old stuff. Freed from the need to promote the new album, they went back to some older stuff, particularly Fold Your Hands Child, which had four tracks. It was cool to hear 'The Model' and 'Don't Leave the Light on Baby,' and you can never go wrong with 'The Wrong Girl,' the one song they've played every time I've seen them.

Other highlights were a really tight version of 'La Pastie de la Borgiosie' and a majestic 'Lord Anthony.' Hearing that song on the album, it doesn't sound like it'd go over great live, but it really built and ended up as a highlight of the show. That song in particular was helped by the presence of a string section, which Stuart claimed approached them that morning. Most of their newer songs are based around synths, so there's not a huge need for a string section, but if they've got them around, it definitely helps fill out the sound.

'Your Cover's Blown' should be played at every one of their shows, it's a great mix of disco and epic rock. 'I'm a Cuckoo' was my favorite song they played, though I would have loved to hear 'If You Find Yourself Caught in Love.' Along the lines of those anthemic pop songs, 'White Collar Boy' has been taken up a notch with each playing and it rocked here. The bass line is fantastic.

I usually prefer the newer songs, but it was great to hear the three best songs off 'Boy with The Arab Strap,' the title track, 'Dirty Dream No. 2' and 'Sleep the Clock Around.' I hadn't heard 'Sleep' live before, and it was a great set closer.

So, it was great to hear a bunch of different stuff live, and it was really great that it didn't rain. The sound quality at the venue was top notch and it was just a lot of fun to be outside watching a great show. I'm guessing this will be their last trip to New York for a while, but I'll definitely be there when they come around in a couple of years to support the next album.

Related Posts
Belle and Sebastian: 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' (11/10/2005)
Top 20 Belle & Sebastian Songs (2/28/2006)
Belle and Sebastian @ The Nokia (3/4/2006)

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