BSS.jpg
Broken Social Scene

Friday Oct. 15, 2010

The Paramount Theatre

Broken Social Scene proved there is such thing as strength in numbers at the Paramount

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Broken Social Scene Create Clever Sonic Textures and Fill the Stage With a Dozen Canadians at the Paramount Last Night

BSS.jpg
Broken Social Scene

Friday Oct. 15, 2010

The Paramount Theatre

Broken Social Scene proved there is such thing as strength in numbers at the Paramount Theatre last night. At times the Canadian collective swelled to as many as 12 members on stage, which must have helped the band power through its marathon set.

Performing in front of a backdrop displaying the cover of Forgiveness Rock Record, the band's latest release, the group played for two hours and 15 minutes straight. It was a dynamic and energetic set that touched on just about every album of the band's career while focusing heavily on Forgiveness Rock Record and 2003's You Forgot It In People. The lineup featured a core of nine musicians that included frontman Kevin Drew, guitarist Andrew Whiteman and Lisa Lobsinger who handled vocal duties on "All to All," and "Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl." Also appearing with the band was Metric's James Shaw. Occasionally a four-piece horn section would drop in to punch things up, a guitarist would trade in his ax for a banjo or Drew would pick up a guitar to create an impressive four-guitar wall of sound. These various clever sonic textures and instrumental layers had different musicians hopping on and off stage throughout the show.

It's difficult not to draw comparisons to Arcade Fire while watching Broken Social Scene given the sheer size of both bands, the amount of indie cred each carries and the fact they hail from the same country. However, while Arcade Fire's music carries a certain weight that gives it an almost epic feel perfect for arenas, Broken Social Scene on the other hand plays music fit for smaller stages and more intimate confines. And while Arcade Fire at times seems to play with a sense of importance, Broken Social Scene's set was filled with a sense of urgency as if the band was trying to make every moment of every song matter. Although more than two dozen songs made the set list and the band performed without an encore, the show felt a bit rushed. Fortunately the haste didn't impact the quality of music, it was just a bit annoying to hear Drew mention the 11:30 curfew between every other song.

The Sea and Cake opened the show with a quick set of jazzy and jangly rock drenched in reverb. The band features Tortoise's John McEntire who also produced Forgiveness Rock Record and performed with Broken Social Scene. The Sea and Cake's musicianship was admirable but overall the set was rather drab and felt uninspired after watching Broken Social Scene.

The crowd: A mix of older fans in their 30s and 40 combined with several youngsters who made their way to the front of the stage.

BTW: The Paramount's balcony was supposed to be closed off but balcony seats were made available due to demand and a late spike in ticket sales.

Random notebook dump: I sure hope the roadies and guitar techs for Broken Social Scene are getting paid well because they're doing a lot of work tonight.

 
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