Belle & Sebastian at The Mann Center
Wed., July 10. manncenter.org
Overall vibe: Kind of like the annual B&S dance parties, only the band decided to show up this time. No biggie.
Most memorable moment: The epic “Your Cover’s Blown,” from 2004’s Books EP. This six-minute-long kitchen-sink drama starts off as a quirky disco number before erupting into a jangly indie masterpiece in the vein of Felt, but not before making quite a few stops along the way.
Scene stealer: Stuart Murdoch. Yeah, he’s the frontman, so I guess this is obvious, but his Scottish wit transcends the music and makes the gig so intimate that you all but expect to grab a coffee with him afterward.
OMD at Union Transfer
Fri., July 12. utphilly.com
Overall vibe: A slim turnout at first, but a few songs in, the place seemed to fill out nicely. We were deemed the “bounciest crowd so far,” so that’s got to count for something, even if the gig didn’t sell out.
Most memorable moment: Malcolm Holmes’ thunderous drum build-up at the start and Andy McCluskey’s spastic dancing, paired with intense flashing lights by the end, solidified “Maid of Orleans” as the gem of the night.
Scene stealer: Paul Humphreys. He might not get too many chances to sing, but when he does, he really kills it. “(Forever) Live and Die” and “Souvenir” were both done flawlessly, giving merit to the “superstar” title McCluskey lovingly bestowed on his usually quiet cohort.
Time for a big Bang breakthrough?