In concert: Broken Social Scene at Warner Theatre
By Chris Klimek
It’s appropriate that the membership of Toronto indie-rock impressionists Broken Social Scene fluctuates between as few as a half-dozen and as many as three times that, because this is a band that always — well, since 1999 — has made music that feels intimate and epic at the same time.
Their generous 130-minute show at the Warner Theater Monday night boasted a lineup of eight performing crystalline lullabies, triumphant fist pumpers, and a few of the discursive, hazy instrumentals that used to get a lot more time on the collective’s albums (four so far, not counting EPs or solo projects or the albums each member has made with their otherbands) than they do now. The one that came out at the beginning of summer (after leaking weeks earlier) “Forgiveness Rock Record,” is more focused and song-oriented than its forebears. It contributed the bulk of the night’s set, but the show still felt thrillingly rife with possibility, even if it was, as frontman and co-founder Kevin Drew repeatedly observed, a Monday night.
The widescreen march “World Sick” showed us where the ceiling was; the group would reach that altitude again near the evening’s end, on the equally unbridled “Superconnected.” For all the pulse-quickening bombast, though, the most affecting moment came when the band left Drew alone to perform “Lover’s Spit,” a ballad so magnificently despondent it’d need only a minor refit to be turned into a great country song. After a tune like that, you might need a hug, and it wasn’t long after before Drew and Co. wandered into the audience to dispense a few.