For their third visit to Philadelphia, Broken Social Scene invited their brass section (members of Stars, the night's opening act) on stage for a sultry night of indie rock. The Canadian collective was in town to promote its latest release, Bee Hives, a b-side and outtake album.
Aside from Bee Hives' slower take on "Lover's Spit," the new album was neglected in favor of cuts from the popular You Forgot It in People, as well as some new, unreleased tunes. Tracks from Feel Good Lost, the band's debut album, were also missing from the show.
The ommissions were disappointing, but the performance -- which included anywhere from six to 14 people on stage at a time -- justified the narrow track list. The loud, rocking performance didn't have room for the ambient, atmospheric songs found on Feel Good Lost and Bee Hives. As the band made its way through the clap-happy "Stars and Sons," members of Stars and the band's posse made their way on-stage to coordinate the song's clapping bridge.
At the beginning of the show, lead singer Kevin Drew announced, "Horns for life." The trumpet, trombone and "Freedom Horn" were a nice detail on You Forgot It in People, but during Broken Social Scene's live show, they take on a powerful, show-stopping role. During "Lover's Spit," the crowd seemed almost oblivious to Drew's vocal wooing, responding instead to the calls of the brass. Even Drew seemed enamored by the horns, often calling for rounds of applause for the musicians. When Kevin Drew first said "Horns for life," it seemed like a random joke, but by the end of the night, it was a mantra.
-- John Carroll