Sunday, October 12, 2008

And you all want the lovely music to save your lives

The Broken Social Scene concert at the Vic in Chicago was superb.  This was my first time seeing this band who has become one of my favorites, and they truly live up yo the oft-mentioned label of "music collective."

The tour is called "Something for Everyone," which is the name of the second in the series of Broken Social Scene Presents . . . albums, specifically bassist Brendan Canning's "solo" album.  Like main lead singer Kevin Drew's BSS Presents album last year, we have to use the term solo loosely here, since most of the band members of BSS play on each album.

Anyway, the concert was a perfect blend of songs from Canning's album, Drew's album, and BSS classics, and they played with energy, vigor, and top-notch skill.  I was very impressed with the musicianship displayed by all of the members, especially in their ability to swap instruments throughout the show.  The band members would switch between guitar, bass, keyboards, horns, etc., with four different lead singers along the way.

I have to say that I like the songs of Kevin Drew's solo album a bit more than those of Brendan Canning's, but the live performance of Canning's single "Hit the Wall" really revved the song up to a great little rocker.  And the setlist really represented some of the best of the band.  One highlight was the classic BSS song"Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl."  Lead singer of opening act Land of Talk Elizabeth Powell took over the vocals since Emily Haines was not on the tour, and she did a great job.  (Powell also filled in for former BSS singers Feist and Amy Milliam when she was needed.)

Of course I was looking forward to such greats as "Cause=Time," "Fire-Eye'd Boy," "7/4 (Shoreline)," and "KC Accidental," and all of these songs were extraordinary.  I looked on in awe of the talent of this rag-tag group of nouveaux hippies as they played their hearts out.

The band also played some of my favorites from Drew's album, including "Safety Bricks," "Farewell to the Pressure Kids," and "The Fucked Up Kid."  I was surprised that they did not play "Backed Out on the . . ." but oh well.

One humorous glitch came when the band was playing a very loud rendition of "Superconnected"--Kevin stopped in the middle and declared that he was "swimming in feedback," so they started over.  After a little bit, the feedback became too much, and Kevin stopped and said that this song was not meant to be.  The drummer then told Kevin he was being a jerk, and they left the stage for a while.  A minute later, they came back holding hands and all as right again.

They did not really play a proper encore, but instead just never left the stage.  At 10:00, Kevin declared, "That's it, the show's over.  We have to go."  Then they just kept playing.  After 15 more minutes, Kevin said, "OK, we really are finished."  And they kept playing till 10:30. 

The final pair of songs was a stunning, loud, powerful, and brilliant coupling of "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)" and "It's All Gonna Break." (The setlist below indicated they were going to play "I'm Still Your Fag," which would have been great, but the 10-minute guitar and horn epic "It's All Gonna Break" kept us rapt as the concert ended.)


At 6:08 PM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...

I'm glad that it was such a good show. Did you get the set list or snap a picture of it? Where were you in the audience?

At 5:55 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I snapped a shot of the setlist...I almost grabbed one, but some wind caught it and it switched direction at the last second! So some youngster next to me got it.

I was standing at the front of the first "tier"--not on the floor but behind the first railing. Great spot!


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