Belle and Sebastian at the 9:30 Club
Belle and Sebastian were very good in concert, but the New Pornographers were very blah (as DCist.com says too). We got there a little late, so I missed the few songs I wanted to hear, and in general the sound was pretty poor - very muddled and hard to understand. They didn't seem very enthusiastic either. And apparently Neko Case and the other girl singer whose name I forget also didn't sing. I couldn't even tell when Dan Bejar was singing and when A.C. Newman was singing, which is odd, as AC is the main guy, and Bejar has a very distinctive, nasal voice.
When Belle and Sebastian came on however, the show turned around. For one, the sound was really great and crisp, and there was a lot of bass, which surprised me. Their songs generally don't have that much bass, and rely on acoustic guitars, keyboards, and singing. However, it sounded really great, giving some oomph to all the songs. I was a little worried they'd play a lot from the new CD, "The Life Pursuit," which is pretty good but that I haven't heard much of. However, they played a good variety from all their albums and lots of songs I wanted to hear, including "Piazza New York Catcher," "I'm a Cuckoo" "Me and the Major" and "Judy and the Dream of Horses." I guess they don't play "Piazza New York Catcher" too much, as singer Stuart Murdoch seemed to be reading the lyrics off a piece of paper. That's fine with me though, I was really happy to hear it. They were really tight and together as well, and the crowd was into it - noisy, appreciative, etc. Of course, the 9:30 is a god damned rip off now for beers - Yuengling is 6 dollars, which is ridiculous. I think the best deal now is a Boddingtons (one of the big cans) for $8, which is pretty messed up. But in any case, I really enjoyed the show.
You can hear the entire concert here, via NPR. Pretty cool.