Friday, July 7, 2006

Belle & Sebastian @Battery Park, July 4th

Happy our nation's birthday everyone! Today was one of the lucky folks who grabbed a pair of tickets to the free Belle & Sebastian concert at Battery Park. It was the first time I ventured to this part of town for a concert, and the setting proved to be pretty nice. The stage was situated on a nice green lawn with trees scattered throughout, and a view of the Hudson River and New Jersey to the west. Because I got in line a little earlier and was soon thereafter joined by Julie1, we were able to lay down a blanket probably about 100 feet from the stage.

We were later joined by Julie1's sister Victoria and brother-in-law Chris, as well as Shana and Eddie. It was great being able to sit there and chitchat and people watch. Heng Min from Temple happened to be on the next blanket over -- amituofo!

Martha Wainwright opened. Sadly, none of us paid her any attention. I suppose she's not really a large venue kind of performer, but then again, when I saw her open for Golden Smog a few years ago at the Bowery Ballroom, she kinda wore on me then too. Oh well.

Happily, the organizers cut her set a little short -- but because they knew the rain was coming. Oh, and yes it did. After Martha finished, as though on cue, the skies opened up and poured on us. We quickly folded up our blankets and the six of us huddled under 3 umbrellas. So, needless to say, we got more than a little wet...

But it was one of those quick showers and I got to see Rad as well, and soon the sun came out again. And then came Belle & Sebastian. I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing them for the first time in April at the Nokia Theater in Times Square. This time their performance was not as tight, but just as enjoyable. They seemed a bit more loose and relaxed, and the ever charming (and pretty gay but not gay) Stuart Murdoch was zanier and chattier than last time. They focused less on the most recent album and played a good mix across all their albums. As one of their encores, the lead guitarist even played a re-enactment of Jimi Hendrix's version of the Star Spangled Banner. Awesome!

After the fun concert, we met up with Andrea and Rebecca. I made a quick decision and invited everyone to my place since I'm a block away from the Promenade figuring it'd be perfect for viewing the fireworks. It was the 4th of July after all.

We all crammed into my little apartment, and Lisa, Julie2 and Gina even came by. I was so pleased -- I never thought I could fit so many bodies in my living room at one time! It was kinda cool hearing this mishmosh of people discuss how each person was connected to everyone else. We drank beers and ordered some pizzas and took advantage of the A/Cs my dad and Ste helped install last weekend.

Unfortunately, by the time we got our butts going, the Promenade was already filled to capacity, so we were DENIED!! I couldn't believe that I actually live a block away from the Promenade, and I couldn't enjoy it....ooops! So instead, we returned to my nicely chilled living room and watched the fireworks on TV, which also allowed us to catch the syrupy Nick Lachey and moldy oldie Lionel Ritchie. All Night Long, anyone?

As the fireworks show progressed, we could hear the actual ones blasting in the distance. We discovered that if you lie on my floor in a certain part of the room, and looked out of the window at a particular angle, you could actually see some of the tops of the fireworks above the buildings. Woo hoo! Hooray for ground floor apartments with a slight view!

We closed out the evening by watching Liza Minelli bang out her version of "New York, New York." Awesomeness!

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