Belle and Sebastian/Teenage Fanclub @ Williamsburg Waterfront 9.30.10

Photo by Snail
Last night, like many New Yorkers, Cheep and Snail lived in perpetual fear. Fear of being heavily rained upon and swept away by the winds of tropical storm Nicole. Fear that our 2nd outdoor show this year would also be as wet as Grizzly Bear at Governor's Island but with the brute force nature withheld that August night. And last and least, we feared we would be sobby sallies amidst hundreds of strangers.

All the crossing of fingers, prayers to the universe or Belle and Sebastian's good luck with weather as singer Stuart Murdoch exclaimed must've worked because we stayed dry during the entire course of the concert, from Teenage Fanclub's alt-rock good time to Belle and Sebastian's groovy and melancholy pop show.
The Glaswegian double bill of good vibrations made Williamsburg Waterfront a no-hater zone. Unfortunately it was permeated by a bully and a brat. There was a chatty cathy to my left who found it funny that the girl in front of me was dressed in a bookish twee outfit: cardigan, wide rimmed glasses, reading a library book on Nazi Cinema -- the stereotypical B&S fan. Were we in a different state of being maybe we would've poked fun, too, but this warm environment had no room for such hater status.

The pre-teen brat to Snail's right whose parents did her the favor of bringing her to an awesome show looked like she could care less. If she was a Latino kid, chances are her ass would've gotten the belt or minimum a nice hard talking to when she got home for being a sour grape and not appreciating the experience! We felt bad for her parents.

Aside from these bad seeds, it was such a delightful time. Belle and Sebastian came back from their 7 year absence with such fervor! They played new easy breezy songs from Belle and Sebastian Write About Love and career-spanning classics like "Judy and the Dream of Horses," "Sleep the Clock Around" and "Boy with the Arab Strap."

We didn't sob like we thought we would at the tearjerkers. I teared up and got nose-tickles and sniffles during all the songs I usually cry to  "Piazza, New York Catcher," "We Rule the School," "The Loneliness of a Middle-Distance Runner" while Snail was able to keep her game face. "Lord Anthony" was especially sad to hear so soon after the terrible things that lead to the untimely death of gay college student Tyler Clementi.

The crowd participation was also fun. We ooh'd along with Stevie Jackson on "I'm Not Living in the Real World" and clapped and sang along to "Get Me Away I'm Dying." Some lucky audience members got onstage with the band to clap and dance and they got medals for their hard work. Except for the awkward kid who had no rhythm and touched everything, haha.

Stuart was ever the darling front man, endlessly charming with his adorable dancing and funny inter-song banter. He jumping down from the stage, getting in the crowd, and borrowing a young man's hat to sing a song. At times, it felt like we were a mass of old friends Stuart was catching up with a bit as he joked. Our favorite was when he pointed out Sarah Martin, Stevie and he were all wearing striped shirts. He was unknowingly being "bandwagonesque" he said cleverly referencing the title of Teenage Fanclub's 1991 album. He even did his best to make the crabby kids of B&S fans at the show crack a smile with the gift of foamy footballs.

2 hours later, no longer as threatened by pouring rain, raging winds and crying eyes, we went home with Belle and Sebby's whimsical air of happiness and smiles upon our faces that shone beyond the pains of our old concert-going age.

Setlist and more pics here.


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