Belle and Sebastian, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2013, Here We Go Magic
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: Here We Go Magic and Belle and Sebastian, July 5th, 2013
While the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal carried on through the weekend, Friday was Under the Radar’s final day of musical adventures. One could not ask for a better sendoff than standout sets from Here We Go Magic and Belle and Sebastian.
Here We Go Magic played a sprawling set, largely comprised of songs from their Nigel Godrich-produced third album, A Different Ship. “Thanks!” joked frontman Luke Temple after their spacey opening song. “We have 23 more of them for you. The last song is an extra long one.”
The standout opener was a delicious appetizer to the main course, headliners Belle and Sebastian. Since the Scottish band hasn’t played in the Montréal for seven years, anticipation for their performance was at a fevered pitch—with tickets to the 3,000 seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts completely selling out.
Speaking to the press earlier that day, frontman Stuart Murdoch declared his love for the city, and, in particular, Leonard Cohen. In honor of his hero, and the “jazz” bit in the festival’s name, Murdoch and the crew performed a special tribute to the singer/songwriter. While the band performed a bit of jazzy instrumental improvisation, while Murdoch read Cohen’s poem “The Favourite Game.”
Not having begun work on a follow up to 2010 album Write About Love, the band dug through their back catalogue. The crowd’s appreciation of old favorites was palpable. When Murdoch requested a volunteer for the spoken word section of “Dirty Dream #2,” he had his choice. The winner, a girl in a pretty dress, bounded through her part with a big smile. Another lucky volunteer had the honor of applying eye makeup to the singer during the anti-bullying ode, “Lord Anthony.”
Twee/pop pandemonium broke out during “Boy With the Arab Strap.” With the aisles filling up with dancing fans, Murdoch invited the bravest of the souls to join the band onstage during “Boy With the Arab Strap.” Nearly fifty people took him up on his offer.
“I forget this is a city we always have fun in!” Murdoch declared to the fervently writhing crowd, both onstage and off.
He speaks the truth. Fun indeed.
And with that, my time in Montréal came to a close on a high note. A big merci to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal coordinators for their hosting and support throughout the week. Count me a huge fan of your city and event. A la prochaine fois!
Belle and Sebastian Setlist:
1. Judy is a Dickslap
2. I’m a Cuckoo
3. Another Sunny Day
4. Stars of Track And Field
5. Dirty Dream #2
6. To Be Myself Completely
7. Lord Anthony
8. Cohen Poem
9. Piazza, New York Catcher
10. Your Cover’s Blown/Middle distance Runner
11. The Model
12. I Didn’t See it Coming
13. The Boy With the Arab Strap
14. Legal Man
15. Judy and the Dream of Horses
16. Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying
Check out a gallery of Here We Go Magic photos here.
Check out a gallery of Belle and Sebastian photos here.