In September, Broken Social Scene was back in Boston performing at Royale. When I see a band with a set up for many members I never know how it is going to go. That’s a lot of layers of sounds to coordinate live. Of course there are bands of all sizes with a variety of instruments, and they have hours of playing together under their belt, so I shouldn’t be skeptical but I always am. I just can’t help myself. Maybe as I see larger bands more frequently, I’ll get used to it. I mostly see bands with 3 or 4 members. Broken Social Scene doubles that and it work like a charm. Broken Social Scene is an indie rock band out of Toronto and the band has ranged in number of members from six to an impressive nineteen. That flux of band members reflects the collaborative and improvisational feel and nature of Broken Social Scene. Speaking of flux, the concert at Royale in Boston, featured both Broken Social Scene as a whole and some of Kevin Drew’s solo stuff from his upcoming album Aging.
The improvisational nature of Broken Social Scene is what makes this mosaic of musicians work so well. The band was happy to have their drummer, Justin Peroff, with them this time around, as he’s one of the members that prefers not to tour at this point, but made the trip to Boston. This ebb and flow of musicians only seems to add to the performance. The dynamic between the musicians is very relaxed. Like most bands there is a lead singer, but many of the band members wear several hats that go a bit like this: vocals, bass guitar, guitar, various instruments. The mic gets handed off and you get a mix of voices, which creates that unique Broken Social Scene pop experience. If you want to go on a little musical rabbit hole adventure, it is fun to see who the members of Broken Social Scene have been and which bands they play with as well as what other bands and projects current band members are a part of.
A few super fans at the show, had requested specific songs, and one audience member in particular was spotlighted who had connected with the band’s music and members online to get through some difficult times. He was acknowledged by Kevin Drew, and metaphorically embraced by the room. It was a very sweet and tender moment that reminded us all the power of music and connection.
Broken Social Scene’s tour is a celebration of You Forgot It In People, which was released 20 years ago on October 15th of 2002. and an introduction to Drew’s upcoming solo album. You Forgot It In People is their critically acclaimed and fan-favorite second studio album. As for Kevin Drew’s solo album, Aging, will be released on November 3rd.