I went to see Belle and Sebastian and The New Pornographers last night at The Concourse at The San Francisco Design Center. While I am a fan of both groups, I was most looking forward to seeing TNP live, especially because of Neko Case who has just this incredible voice that I wanted to hear live. Unfortunately, she is out on tour in support of her new solo album so she wasn't there. Also not there was the #2 songwriter and guitarist Dan Bejar who is on tour with his side project Destroyer. Still, the band came out smoking, running through a blistering set of tunes in rapid fire succession. I wasn't counting but they must have done 12-14 songs in under an hour with nary a glitch in the bunch. They were great, but I was hoping for transcendence which Ms. Case might have provided. Maybe next time.
Belle and Sebastian were good, but they seemed a little road weary to me. In fact both groups had a few too long lulls between groups of songs which brought a complete stop to the flow of the performances. They are nearing the end of the tour so maybe that was it. They also seemed overwhelmed by the size of the soldout crowd, which was probably 7-8 thousand or so, and the size of the venue itself. It's like a hangar with no seating, pillars everywhere and the sound was murky in spots and extremely bass heavy. I'll think twice about going to another concert there...unless Neko shows up!