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Last Night: Broken Social Scene at Club Cinema



Broken Social Scene with Land of Talk
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Club Cinema, Pompano Beach


Canadian experimental/indie-rock supergroup Broken Social Scene descended on South Florida last night like a swarm of indie bees, and buzzed up a two-hour storm for jubilant fans at a packed Club Cinema in Pompano, on the last night of their U.S. tour.  

Land of Talk, also from Canada, opened the show with an enjoyable yet forgettable set, featuring talented young Montreal-based vocalist and guitarist Elizabeth Powell (who also backed up BSS on various numbers). Though far from the masterful Leslie Feist, who records and sometimes performs the female vocals on most BSS tunes, Powell gave a respectable go at it.

Broken Social Scene, with its current roster of nineteen musicians,

appears to indeed be a social scene in and of itself -- an eclectic

conglomeration of avant garde abstractionists and straight ahead

rockers, that clearly functions better broken than most do fixed.  

Excellent sound quality at this venue, and impressive lighting, though

not typical at your average indie show, definitely helped make this one

memorable. Mixing an act with such complex instrumentation is never an

easy feat, so kudos to the sound people for nailing it.

Front man and founder Kevin Drew, doing a good impression of the

Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, with his wild hair and gray dress vest; and

a good impression of Bono (ouch) with his vocals at times, kept the

crowd going strong. Between songs ranging from dreamy and mellow

ballads like "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" to more upbeat and

catchy tunes like the off-meter "7/4 (Shoreline)," Drew engaged the

audience with optimistic musings about changes in the U.S.

administration, giving his and Canada's approval to Florida for voting

Obama.

Toronto-based BSS consists of a traditional rock core of drums, bass,

guitar and moog/keyboard, supplemented by an array of support

instrumentation ranging from horns and woodwinds to violins and

miscellaneous percussion -- creating a full, grand sound verging on

ethereal at times. The band's lineup changes from night to night

depending on the availability of its members who all have side projects

of their own. This revolving door effect offers audiences in different

cities the benefit of variety, if not consistency, but either way the

crowd is guaranteed to be pleased, as it clearly was last night.

Variety and versatility are probably the hallmark characteristics of

these musicians, who artfully and energetically engaged the audience

right up to the club's midnight curfew, opting to save time and skip

formalities by playing their encore performance before leaving the

stage, instead of waiting through precious minutes of applause. A

thirty-dollar indie-rock show ticket sounds steep, but then Broken

Social Scene is not your average indie-rock band, as they proved so

well last night. Money well spent.

-- Ben Thacker


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