Photos By: Rachel Frank
By: Amanda Martinek
The last time Belle & Sebastian played in San Diego was 2004. The majority of that crowd was in their mid to late twenties, grooving to the indie pop tunes that got them through long nights staring at their down room ceilings, breaking up and making up with significant others and navigating all the early adult feels that life brings.
Flash forward to that same crowd at The Observatory in North Park over ten years later and guess what happened? Along with the band originally from Glasgow, Scotland, these people got old. 95% of the crowd was wearing glasses. Certain members of the band were wearing sensibly comfortable trainers. It was past everyone’s bed time. But that didn’t stop a single person from witnessing something magical.
Playing singles from their large catalog of well-respected albums that span the past 20 years, and even newer disco-inspired tracks off this year’s album Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance, the crowd went wild for both. Hosting both die-hard, lifetime fans who belted out every single word to every single song, and newer millennials, who probably just knew that one song off the Juno soundtrack, everyone enthusiastically shimmied and bobbed and smiled and laughed along.
Lead singer Stuart Murdoch continued to steal everyone’s heart with his light-hearted, earnest yet sarcastic humor, fun dance moves and warm Southern California embrace. The highlight of the show was definitely when Belle & Sebastian graciously welcomed 20+ members of the crowd up on stage to dance, including two from the ListenSD team.
All in all, the show was a treat for both old school lovers and new school friends. We hope you come back to San Diego sooner than later, in peacetime or wartime. Us girls still want to dance.