Rantglass - because that's how things are.

I like it all that way.

You and me and me and you and me... again.

I lightly drummed my fingers onto the armrest of my seat, feeling slightly pensive at having spotted a few familiar faces in the crowd: colleagues from work (!), bloggers (!!), friends (?!!)…

It was a little past 7.30pm on a Sunday night, and the air in Singapore’s Esplanade Concert Hall was ripe with breathless anticipation. Excited chatters, testing of camera flashes, latecomers still streaming into the hall to get to their seats…

The lights then dimmed.

After the common and now almost obligatory appearance of a backstage-crewperson-being-mistaken-for-a-band-member-going-onstage, a couple of whoops and whistles later, and a mock introduction of the band members (concerning more of the absentees, actually, including a joke on one particular terror suspect whose recent escape made headlines in the island republic) by an unseen yet familiar voice…

Broken Social Scene came on.

Obviously, not all of the members from the musical collective made an appearance for this gig (6 out of currently 19), but I doubt anyone complained – this was as close to the real thing as it could get. And anyway… OMGITISKEVINDREWAIEEEEE <3 … so that is all that matters.

It’s a shoreline
It’s high speed…

Wasting no precious time, the band launched into “7/4 (Shoreline)”; it is apparent that even with the glaring absence of their female counterparts, the present all-male lineup still shined with the temporary… utilisation of a guest female vocalist and a few wind instrumentalists. To them, it is all about improvisation, and it hardly put a dent on the proceedings. Everyone in the hall jumped out of their seats and sang, swayed, danced, rocked and headbanged to the music right from the very start.

I tried to remember the setlist, but sort of lost it after the third song or so into the night. It was a mix of material: from their earlier album You Forgot It In People (random fan: “Oh, I loved You Forgot It In People!”) to their self-titled album to the first in the Broken Social Scene Presents: series, Spirit If…, the band members have no qualms displaying their strong chemistry and versatility to the fullest, giving a brilliant demonstration as to how they can easily adapt and perform with different members of the collective at any one time. It has been said that no one Broken Social Scene gig is ever the same because of this.

Tied to a night they never met…

Co-founder Kevin Drew settled into frontman mode comfortably, constantly engaging with the audience – by teasing them with his current squeeze Leslie Feist’s “1234”; coaxing them to let themselves loose with loud shrieks (“I’M ALIVEEE!”), thirty-second screams and unsynchronised claps; and, at one point, (probably) feigning forgetfulness over the lyrics and chords to “All My Friends”.

There was also a brief lull in between where members of the audience took the opportunity to make known their request for a certain song – and to which it was promptly fulfilled. The immensely popular “Lover’s Spit” came on – a stripped-down, bare-all version – and the audience became eeriely quiet, making not even a squeak as Drew’s soft, melancholic vocals here exuded a strange, intimate, spine-tingly feeling. (It made me feel very aware of myself – or maybe it was because I felt like I was falling in love…)

Frightening lives.

The band marked their exit with a stage bow. Despite cries for an encore, it did not quite happen – but we headed to the exits reluctantly, albeit still reasonably satisfied, as the band had performed beyond the proposed ninety-minute duration – and superbly at that too, making it truly a night to remember.

Awesome stuff, this.

Details of this entry.Wednesday, March 12, 2008, filed under Reviews.
This entry is open to comments.
Recent tracks played are displayed on Last.fm.F-ked Up Kid, Kevin Drew

  1. i’m not a big fan, but i didn’t expect to have come away as unimpressed as i did.
    i mean, they were good showmen, comfortable performers. but it just didn’t sound as tight and accomplished as i thought it would.

    or maybe i was just annoyed that the crowd couldn’t just sit. yes, it’s not a sitting down band, but then the venue is a sitdown venue. if you didn’t like that fact, you didn’t have to come.

    in the past, they sat for mogwai and yo la tengo. but i guess, when it comes to hipsters and their precious BSS, they think they can do whatever they want.

    soporific | 13/03/08 12:42 PM

  2. Soporific – Well, for one, I am not a seasoned/avid concert-goer (so there’s not many I can compare with)… but I partly agree with you, though I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was unimpressed with Broken Social Scene’s performance. This outing has been an awesome experience nevertheless.

    (I actually prefer the Kings of Convenience gig at the same venue two years ago – but that may be for some other reasons…)

    Strizzt | 13/03/08 07:32 PM

  3. was at the top level. the Top top, so to speak. hehe. had a great view of the entire band jumping up and down and all their antics.

    I would have stood up and jumped up and dow ntoo if the people in front and back of me were more sporting, but oh well…

    eyeris | 13/03/08 11:30 PM

  4. Eyeris – Heh. I was once on Circle 2 and the performers on stage look kind of small (sigh).

    I was surprised by the lack of security – cameras flashing, people standing and leaving their seats from the back row to get nearer to the stage…

    Strizzt | 14/03/08 08:47 PM

  5. i think KoC fit the venue much better and the experience was far more intimate.

    soporific | 20/03/08 12:05 AM

  6. Soporific – A less-than-perfect choice of venue for Broken Social Scene, then…

    Strizzt | 20/03/08 09:51 AM

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