Aug 5, 2010

Broken Social Scene @ Metro Theatre

I have probably mentioned previously that a Broken Social Scene gig at the Metro Theatre that I witnessed in 2006 would easily find a place in my top five gigs of all time. Easily. It was 3 hours of euphoria and pure and unbridled joy. A night I will never, ever forget. In 2008 I saw them twice again. An uneven and slightly disappointing show at the Manning Bar and then a triumphant display at the Laneway Festival where they had the added bonus of Feist and members of Stars join them on stage for an orgasmic maelstrom. Fast forward to 2010 and I returned to the Metro again. The band has a new album under their arms and expectations were high for hopefully a great night. Thankfully it was! Despite some flat spots it was a sure and confident display of a now veteran band of accomplished and talented musicians. Whilst never quite reaching the nirvana of 2006 I walked out onto George Street with my ears ringing, my face smiling and the utmost belief that this Toronto collective has plenty left in the tank.

"World Sick" gave the night a flying start. Its loping sound and building nature was a joy to hear. Five men in guitars stretched out on stage was an awesome sight as they worked in close unison to keep the song driving along. Soon followed an oldie in "Stars and Sons", a reminder of how monumental an album "You Forgot It In People" was way back at the start of the decade. Another new song followed in personal favourite "Texico Bitches" and the night was going swimmingly. We reached a little flat spot soon though which was a combination of factors. Firstly I was behind some pretty tall guys and I had trouble seeing the stage properly. They were well behaved and had every right to be there but sometimes it is just a downside of live shows if all you can see is the back of some one's head instead of the performer you are trying hard to see. Secondly the set dipped a little in quality. We had three songs in a row that are not my favourites off the new album plus a couple of songs pulled from the Broken Social Scene Presents... albums. Now I actually like both of those albums but the songs that they chose are not my personal picks, especially the Canning number in "Love Is New". But then things opened up a bit for us. We managed to get a clear view of the stage and Canning took lead vocals on the extremely delectable "Water In Hell". After this it was all honey. "Superconnected" fairly shook the rafters, which was followed by Kevin Drew wading into the audience to perform the sublime "Ungrateful Little Father". Immediately following this the band started to mistakenly depart the stage which bemused Drew no end. He quickly called them back and then they brought a massive smile to my face with always great "KC Accidental". This amazing song was one of many on the night that featured a local horns section (two saxes, a trumpet and a trombone). They certainly added that extra push to many songs that just don't sound right without them. Unfortunately a minus on the night was a lack of female vocals. Lisa Lobsinger was still feeling the effects of the flu and couldn't sing, meaning songs like "Shoreline" and "Anthems" were not going to be performed. Which was disappointing but obviously unavoidable. However "Lover's Spit" more then made up for it. Kevin Drew started the song alone, just on keyboards, before messrs Canning, Spearin and Whiteman joined in with some subtle instrumentation. A delightful and beautiful highlight of the night. As the night approached two hours Drew then explained that the encore was with us now. No false walk offs here, just more glorious music. "Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day)" and the immense "Meet Me In the Basement" were both the perfect way to end the night. Guitars blazed, throats were extended and horns crashed out of control. Everyone seemed happy, I certainly was. It wasn't a night that made you forget all others, but it was still just so damn good.

Set List
World Sick
Stars And Sons
Texico Bitches
Fire Eye'd Boy
Forced To Love
Sweetest Kill
Art House Director
Cause = Time
Frightening Lives
Love Is New
Water In Hell
Ungrateful Little Father
KC Accidental
Lover's Spit
Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day)
Meet Me In The Basement


  • At August 12, 2010 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Strong write up. I love this band and think they transcend best when seen live. I've no doubt the Metro was a great venue for them too. I saw them a while back at the Armidale and they smashed it.


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