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).
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.
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
I Didn't See It Coming
Funny Little Frog
She's Losing It
We Rule the School
Dog on Wheels
The Boy with the Arab Strap
There's Too Much Love
The State I Am In
Sleep the Clock around
Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying