Belle and Sebastian Get a Hero's Welcome at First New Orleans Show

[Updated] When Stuart Murdoch sang, “We were on the outside looking in” Monday night at The Civic, he could have been articulating Belle and Sebastian’s central thought. The veteran Scottish indie rock band has got 20 years out of tweedy alienation, in part because no one went broke by making young people (and people who were young once) feel dramatic, but also because Belle and Sebastian made it seem beautiful.

Molotov Throws a Cocktail Party at the House of Blues

There was an overwhelming, communal connection when Molotov took the stage at House of Blues' Parish. The Mexican rap-rock/punk band engaged in playful banter with each other and the audience in a performance that was confrontational, vulgar, political, and humorous--all of which was exactly what the audience came to see. Playing visibly drunk under a sign reading Unity in Diversity, the band made it clear that although Latin American politics are a mess, people are stronger when they mosh, yelp, and rock out together.

St. Vincent Made a Show of Her Show at the Civic

From the start, St. Vincent made it clear that her show was a show Monday night. A stage hand pulled back the curtain on the Civic just enough to reveal St. Vincent—Annie Clark—standing alone stage left, where she stood still at a microphone and sang “Marry Me,” backed by a pre-recorded café accordion. Clark cut a severe figure in a pink vinyl dress and pink vinyl thigh-high boots with her black hair slicked back. The theatricality of that look and opening called into question what we see and hear at concert.

Sleigh Bells Powercharm Republic During Carnival

Last Friday night, Sleigh Bells played Republic, and according to photographer Steph Catsoulis, the years in service and size of the room haven’t quieted the band at all. Five albums into its exploration of the place where heavy metal guitar, hip-hop drums, and high school cheers meet, Sleigh Bells stays true to its core values in concert, which translated to a very loud show.

Ariel Pink Doesn't Want Attention

In interviews following the release of Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, Ariel Pink spoke about his quest for attention ad nauseam. Until he was 26, Pink felt unacknowledged, desperately fighting to be noticed. But once he finally got the attention he craved, Pink lost what initially drove him to make music, forcing him to rethink how to write songs without that short-sighted goal in mind.

SZA Spoke to and For the Sold Out House of Blues

SZA’s first national tour seemed to catch everybody but her fans by surprise. At venue after venue, bookers realized too late that they could have charged more after fans snapped up the tickets in minutes. At the House of Blues last Thursday night, the line for the show left the venue’s alley, turned on to Decatur Street, then wrapped around the corner on to Iberville. When SZA took the stage to open with “Supermodel,” the audience drowned her out as it sang along.

Arcade Fire Gets Serious

Going into the Arcade Fire show Tuesday night at the UNO Lakefront Arena, the story was that the show didn’t sell particularly well. Two hours later by the end of “Wake Up,” I felt for the people who didn’t buy tickets because they missed a show as compelling as U2’s in the Superdome without the wind of nostalgia at its back. I ended up glad that their absence left room for so many people to dance with abandon at a rock ’n’ roll show.

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