Live review: Broken Social Scene @ the Boulder TheaterBy Marc Hobelman and Joe McCabe | March 22nd, 2011 | 2 comments
Broken Social Scene blanketed the Boulder Theater in echo-y layers of Canadian rock on Saturday night. As soon as Kevin Drew ran up to the mic in a large, furry parka, he owned the audience’s attention. The large band brought chops and great presence, but it really was a Drew-centric show. That may just be what BSS is morphing into. They played a long set stuffed with fan favorites from “Broken Social Scene” and “You Forgot It In People.”
The BSS live show is well-oiled. Their tight, raucous sound set the crowd ablaze. The benefit of beholding the whole shebang is seeing for yourself why each player (and often doubled instrument) is essential. Guitars for trumpets, keyboards for bass(es) and even swapping half the band between some songs — switching it up happened constantly and usually went unnoticed until the next song was already underway. The only actual bump in the road was still entertaining: Drew genuinely forgot the lyrics to “Cause=Time” and then still managed to mess them up after getting help from the audience, his bandmates and the Internet.
Lisa Lobsinger had a weighty role as the only female vocalist on this tour, and she nailed it. She was spot-on for the lofty parts she was asked to sing (especially “7/4 (Shoreline),” “All To All” and “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl”). As with everyone else in the band, Lobsinger’s talent level is through the roof.
Late in the set, Charles Spearin’s “Happiness Project” broke up the pace a bit. The surprise selection featured his Jamaican neighbor talking about what makes her happy. Then, David French played an interpretation of her lilts, tones and chirps on his saxophone. It’s a piece they haven’t played for some time, and at first it was hard to tell how receptive the audience was. But after the musical reveal, everyone cheered and the show got its momentum back as it marched toward the encore — an encore that Drew had no beef eschewing the off-stage waiting game for. Launching right into the most coveted songs of the set, BSS left Boulder with a fan-satisfying experience that should last until they eventually make their way back to the front range.
Fire Eye’d Boy
Stars and Sons
All to All
Art House Director
Forced to Love
Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl
Happiness Project (Charles Spearin)
Ungrateful Little Father
Meet Me in the Basement
Looks Just Like the Sun
Water in Hell
Ibi Dreams of Pavement
Marc Hobelman makes websites at The Denver Post, tweets pictures of his cat, and is a regular contributor to Reverb.
Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out his website.