Belle & Sebastian played the Orpheum – 4/27

Scottish indie pop vets Belle & Sebastian headlined the Orpheum, joined by Toronto’s The Weather Station.


Nearly 30 years on from their humble Glasgow beginnings, Belle and Sebastian have – improbably, perhaps – grown into a reliably lively, party-starting powerhouse of a live band. Hitting the road behind last year’s Late Developers, lead singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch and co. rolled into downtown Boston’s Orpheum late last month for a characteristically celebratory Saturday night.

Murdoch remarked at one point during the night that the seated nature of the show was a strange one, and indeed, the packed-in nature of the Orpheum aisles constricted some of the get-up-and-dance energy of the night. The band’s charm shined through regardless though, throughout an 18-song set that offered up a handful of new tunes but largely stuck to the stable of classics from B&S’ unassailable ’90s and ’00s. That’s a treasure trove of perfect pop songwriting, and we were treated to plenty of the greats – “Funny Little Frog,” “Expectations,” “Piazza, New York Catcher” – along with audience participatory staple “The Boy With the Arab Strap” and four cuts from fan-favorite If You’re Feeling Sinister. A freewheeling and talkative Murdoch punctuated the songs in endearing fashion, at one point flipping through a goofy slideshow of the band’s day in the city that led to a truly surreal moment (sparked by the spotting of a Bane “We’re with Stu” banner) in which he briefly conversed with an audience member about Boston hardcore.

It was a fun night through and through, preceded by a solid set from Canadian folk-rock ensemble The Weather Station, and you can check out photos of both bands below.