Live Review: Belle and Sebastian at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

That's Sebastian (Belle, not pictured)
That's Sebastian (Belle, not pictured)
Gustavo Turner

View more photos in Colin Young-Wolff's "Belle and Sebastian @ Hollywood Forever" slideshow.

Congratulations if you're between 25 and 35: after last night's show by Belle & Sebastian at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, now you know how your parents (perhaps your grandparents?) feel after catching another pleasant concert by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

This is no diss, by the way. There's much to be said for a tight band, pleasant songs and distinctive, gorgeous vocals. And the morbid setting is kind of cute, especially on a rainy day with the palm trees, the Paramount water tank and the light pollution of mid-LA bouncing on the clouds behind the affable Scotsmen and Scotswomen (they opened, of course, with "Sukie in the Graveyard"--see what they did there?).

There were no surprises, though vocalist Stuart Murdoch (the one Stuart left in the band, the one with the inimitable "Belle & Sebastian" voice) mentioned they tried to get Ewan McGregor to introduce the band after Hollywood Forever's showing of Trainspotting (Obi Wan Jr. was out of town and sent his regards to the crowd).

Shimmy Shimmy Belle
Shimmy Shimmy Belle

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The band threw signed toy footballs to the crowd (like they did last week in Vegas) and asked for children to be displayed. A bunch of scene girls and boys, including one with the ubiquitous scene-person animal-head hat, were pulled from the crowd "Dancing in the Dark"-style to shimmy with the Glaswegians.

Lots of heavy-rimmed glasses in the crowd. Lots of '90s nerdy misfits, now 2010s nerdy fits, much like the band. A nostalgia set heavy on early material. (If you miss Isobel Campbell as much as we do, she's coming to town soon to play Bonnie to Mark Lanegan's Clyde. She's moved on.)

A pleasant, BYOB time under some moody LA weather.

Set List:

 

Sukie in the Graveyard

Write About Love

Like Dylan in the Movies

I'm not Living in the Real World

If You're Feeling Sinister

Lord Anthony

I Didn't See It Coming

Funny Little Frog

She's Losing It

Mayfly

We Rule the School

Dog on Wheels

The Boy with the Arab Strap

There's Too Much Love

The State I Am In

Encore:

Sleep the Clock around

Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying


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