Belle and Sebastian in New York

We did not have tickets. We planned to go a-scalpin’. We met at about 9 in front of the theatre. While looking for him, I could not for the life of me conjure up his face in my mind. When I saw him, of course, I knew him, even if his hair was different – dark, grown out, and crazy curly as opposed to light, short, and not-so-crazy curly.He had brought a scalper with him. The guy wanted $60, I gave him $46. We got in line.

No assigned seats, but the place was packed – no Belle And Sebastian yet, I guess the opening band had done their thing and we’d arrived in the middle. We got drinks – champagne mmm – and found two empty adjacent seats. Within moments the best band in the history of the universe (or at least, close to it!) took the stage. They began with “Sleep The Clock Around,” which of course they did just for me.

In between songs Carl would randomly lean over to say something in my ear – thanking me, asking what I thought so far, offering me some weed, and one perfectly apt thing he said was (paraphrased): “These are some of the best times in life – watching a good concert with good friends in comfortable chairs.” I agreed wholeheartedly, especially since the seat in front of me was empty so I could put up my feet and stretch my aching back. Especially when they played “There’s Too Much Love” and “The Fox In The Snow” and all the rest. Especially when the mild champagne buzz kicked in and the lights stopped bugging my eyes so much. Especially when they played “Stayin’ Alive” after teasing us for some time until we were sure they weren’t going to. Especially when Stuart fucked up a note at the beginning of “You Made Me Forget My Dreams,” interrupted it with a disgruntled yet amused “shit” and tried to start again but gave up and went onto the next one. Especially when they brought up some random girl to dance to “Dirty Dream #2” who almost didn’t but did and chickened out when Stuart wanted her to do the girl voice part so he had to do it himself. Especially when they sang “Happy Birthday” to three random people.

So much! It was grand. Nearly two hours, and all I wanted was more.

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