Broken Social Scene repairs Pittsburgh

Written By Natasha Neira

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 Broken Social Scene (BSS), a Toronto native band of nine to 16 interchanging band members, has been supplying music that creates emotion, texture and imagery to loyal fans since the late ‘90s. Last week, the band arrived in Pittsburgh to fulfill fans at the Byham Theater, and did that and more by performing the most emotional, thoughtful, and empowering set list a fan could ever ask for.It took roughly five years for the band to create its new album, “Forgiveness Rock Record,” which could possibly be an apology to fans for taking almost half a decade to produce a follow up from “You Forgot it in People,” released in 2005.At first glance, BSS fans are seated soundly admiring the stage setup and the painted ceiling of the Byham Theater until the alluring guitar riffs and steady drumming structure of “World Sick” fills the theater. One by one, Broken Social Scene fans rise, clapping and belting out the lyrics to the single off “Forgiveness Rock Record.” The 2010 record dominated most of the songs off the set list, accompanied by wispy instrumental ballads and heart pounding anthems from past records.            After the warm welcome “World Sick” delivered, Kevin Drew, band founder and lead vocalist, gives a brief greeting and introduction, informing the crowd that this show is the fifth stop on their American tour and that they have not performed in a theater like the Byham for a while.Without hesitation, next on the set list is “Stars and Sons,” a heart-swelling, upbeat ballad from their 2005 album “You Forgot it in People.” The detailed instrumental compositions and crystal clear vocals echoing across the theater are contrasted by blue and red spot-lighting that shines over the members and drips upon the theater, delivering an atmosphere molded to Broken Social Scene’s renowned sound.            Following “Stars and Sons” comes “Texico Bitches,” which Drew informs the crowd is, “A song to the man.” Theater seats became vacant as people choose to stand and relocate into the aisles to sway, clap and really take in every aspect of the performance.To keep up the pace and momentum of the show, the next song on the line up is “7/4 Shoreline.” The steady riffs and electrifying synthesizer, contrasted with a trumpet and a saxophone sends electrifying vibes off the stage and through out the theater. The band continues with “Fire eye’d boy” a stunning motivational anthem, orchestrated perfectly, keeping fans clapping their hands in the air, and tapping their feet to the steady harmonic drumbeat. After dipping into their older songs, the band steadily plays three songs from “Forgiveness Rock Record,”  “Forced to love,” a faster paced saga of estrangement, “Sweetest Kill” a slow paced, heavy heart anthem, and “All to all” a wispy ballad sung by Lisa Lobsinger one of the few females featured in the band.BSS, wakes the crowd from the hypnotic trance their lullabies seem to put them in, by playing an oldie but a goodie, “Cause=Time”. However, the lullaby continues with “Guilty Cubicles” which they dedicate to their loved ones that have passed away.  The instrumental, soul-speaking, goose bump-giving composition fills the theater with a moment of complete and shared quiet serenity.  BSS jumps directly into “Superconnected” and “Lover’s Spit” to throw the show back on.Nearing the end of the show, the band performs “KC Accidental,” a beautiful thought provoking song,  “Water in Hell” a song from “Forgiveness”, and as a finale the band belts out “Meet Me in the Basement,” another strong, textured and perfectly composed track. However, before departing Kevin Drew asks the audience “Okay, one more, what do you wanna hear?” Someone yells out “Anthems for a seventeen-year old girl!” He replies with a pointed finger, “Okay, we’ll play it but know it’s a man’s world.” Drew calls Lisa Lobsinger back on stage to softly serenade the crowd with “Anthems ” and the band members all exit with waving hands, exchanged glances and sincere goodbyes.Slowly fans exited the Byham with warm hearts and glazed eyes. Broken Social Scene presented Pittsburgh with the most intimate, beautiful and fulfilling performance one could ever ask for from a band. The set list was personal and well thought out. The band performed their music without a single technical or personal flaw, sounding eerily better than their recordings, and Pittsburgh fans are thankful.The band is continuing touring in America until early October. Further information on the Broken Social Scene can be found at www.brokensocialscene.ca

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