Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, January 31

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Concert Sun Oct 03 2010

Review: Broken Social Scene @ The Riv, 10/2

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene by Sandor Weisz

Everything was alright until Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew made me cry. At least it was a good cry, a cathartic one. And as I stood alone with tears rolling down my cheeks, feeling like the biggest asshole in the room, I felt like Broken Social Scene were patting me on the back and saying "there there, everything will be ok." I have a feeling I wasn't the only person wiping away some tears Saturday night when Broken Social Scene stopped at The Riviera Theatre for their show promoting their latest album Forgiveness Rock Record. It wasn't all stark realizations that made your lip quiver, but Broken Social Scene (specifically masterminds Drew and Canning) have a knack for writing the words that you wish you could say, then putting them against the backdrop of crashing melodies that sweep you up and away. But just as much as the downtrodden is gut wrenching, the lighter fare is uplifting and romanticizing, and the band showcased both sides Saturday night.


Broken Social Scene by Sandor Weisz

As Drew took the stage he remarked "We've spent a lot of time in Chicago so it's good to be back" and given the fact that Forgiveness Rock Record was recorded mainly in Chicago with producer John McEntire of Chicago outfit Tortoise, the show really did feel like a homecoming. As the backdrop of the new album dropped behind the band, soft deep light of yellow and red fade up as the members launched into "World Sick" the opener off their latest release. As they trotted out a few crowd favorites, "7/4 Shoreline" and "Fire Eye'd Boy" the band quickly found their footing and pace for the night, the energy high but comfortable. Broken Social Scene have such a warmth that comes through in their live production that is sometimes not as evident in their recorded material, clearly influenced by the fact all the musicians really enjoy creating together as a collective.


Broken Social Scene by Sandor Weisz

For the most part the night was showcasing their latest release with a few fan favorites peppered in between. Not that anyone minded, because hearing Forgiveness Rock Record live only solidifies how beautifully written, recorded, and produced the album is, and furthers the fact that it will end up on many end of the year "best of" lists. Besides the minor slip-up of a smooth jazz channeled version of "Hotel" (possible personal preference on my part), the set was near perfect for a Broken Social Scene show. And despite all the instruments onstage, the moment that resonated most was the stripped down version of "Lovers Spit." Showing that even if a band has two drum sets and an entire horn section, if you write amazing songs all you need to really prove your worth is a voice and a simple melody. Drew plunked along on a keyboard, backed only towards the end by an assortment of wind instruments, his voice so bleak and bittersweet. Being able to make music that real is a gift to both the performer and the fans.


Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene by Sandor Weisz

As I tried to compose myself, the band brought the mood back up by ending their set with the poppy disjointed "Ungrateful Little Father" and rounding out the night with "Meet Me in the Basement," an optimistic uplifting instrumental that was the perfect track to end the set. The equation of Broken Social Scene is simple, adding equal parts honest and edited writing, precise instrumentation, and a group of musicians that clearly enjoy working together. Together they've created a body of work that is promising yet poignant, and on a cold rainy night like Saturday a reminder that no matter how bitter things can be, it will always get better.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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