The rain held off. The temperature was warm but comfortable, the music breezy and familiar, as the Mann Center kicked off the second year of the Skyline Stage series Wednesday night, with two of indie rock's most beloved bands, Belle & Sebastian and Yo La Tengo.
Glasgow's Belle & Sebastian haven't released an album since 2010's Write About Love. (They have a collection of B-sides and remixes coming next month.) This lack of new material meant they would "traipse through the Belle & Sebastian back-catalogue," as leader Stuart Murdoch said.
They're a band that traipses: Their carefully arranged songs build on '60s orchestral pop, blue-eyed soul, and the gentle side of the Velvet Underground's strummy guitar rock. Even as Murdoch sings his wry tales of melancholy lovers and misunderstood loners, the music is joyfully melodic.