Belle and Sebastian take crowd participation up a notch at the Greek

Belle and SebastianBy Pedro Paredes //

Belle and Sebastian with Real Estate, Perfume Genius //
Greek Theatre – U.C. Berkeley
April 12th, 2015 //

It’s always nice to go inside the Greek Theatre at U.C. Berkeley. The background is great — you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and there are a lot of nice eucalyptus trees on the horizon, too.

It was a sunny Sunday last weekend when Scottish indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian headlined the Greek in between their two performances at Coachella.

One of two opening acts on the bill, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) got the show started before the venue filled in, and those who arrived early were in for a treat as the Seattle solo artist played songs from 2014’s Too Bright and 2012’s Put Your Back N 2 It, delivering an intense onstage performance.

Ridgewood, N.J., indie rockers Real Estate followed, and every time they play, they put on an amazing show. They played the usual tunes from Days and Atlas but left people smiling by the end of their set. It all comes from the music — they don’t move around too much on stage, but their music makes up for it — and people listen.

Belle and Sebastian

Real Estate paved the way lastly for Belle and Sebastian, which featured a lot of people on stage. Lead singer Stuart Murdoch and company were joined by a group of roughly 50 fans who were invited by the band to register online along with a string section of 4-5 players. They played songs from their latest album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance and also pleased fans with some other classic tunes, including “The Boy with the Arab Strap” in which they invited more audience members to jump on stage and dance. About 20-25 people obliged, making for a memorable show at one of the Bay Area’s most majestic venues.

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