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Concert Sun Oct 03 2010

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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