Though some of us were kind of losing our shit a little bit over last night's weather forecast, in the end Mother Nature permitted Belle & Sebastian to play their first New York gig in four years, under an orange overcast sky at the Williamsburg Waterfront. It turned out to be a sublime night, with a cool, refreshing breeze swooping over the crowd, and the 12-piece ensemble was in high spirits, kicking things off with "I Didn’t See It Coming," a dance track off their new album, Write About Love. ("I love my job," declared frontman Stuart Murdoch after the opening number.) Here's Big Ass Lens' video from the perfect encore, "Me And The Major / Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying.":

Belle and Sebastian - Me And The Major / Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying from Big Ass Lens on Vimeo.

Murdoch was ebullient throughout the nearly two hour show (setlist below), during which not a drop of rain fell. "We have good luck with the weather," he explained, which reminded us of the band's last NYC appearance at Battery Park, when an initial rain ceded to bright sunshine. Highlights from last night included an on-stage audience participation clap-along on "There's Too Much Love," during which one tall dude nearly upstaged the band by the sheer power of his goofiness; Murdoch tossing footballs into the crowd for the next-generation fans attending with their parents; and "The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner." Once the sound got locked in after the first couple of songs, the impossibly big band sounded remarkably rich and crisp, their pure upbeat pop tempered by their signature autumnal melancholy. Our only regret is missing opener Teenage Fanclub.


I Didn't See It Coming
I'm a Cuckoo
Step Into My Office, Baby
Like Dylan in the Movies
I'm Not Living in the Real World
Piazza, New York Catcher
I Want the World to Stop
Lord Anthony
Sukie in the Graveyard
We Rule the School
Another Sunny Day
The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner
Write About Love
There's Too Much Love
The Boy with the Arab Strap
If You Find Yourself Caught in Love
Judy and the Dream of Horses
Sleep the Clock Around
Me and the Major
Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying