Over the weekend, I met up with C., a Canadian chick I met through last.fm to go watch Broken Social Scene perform in Sydney. C. is the first person I’ve met off the internet. She wasn’t psycho and talked coherently; these were two good things.
She brought a couple of her friends, D. and S., from Sydney. I assumed they tagged along as backup in case I was psycho and possibly a stalker. I wasn’t, and she should have known that by my refusal to type “LOL” in any of our online chats. I don’t think of myself as a psycho stalker… that is if you don’t consider my recent attempts to catch a Jens Lekman performance. Then again, if you are a crazy internet dude, you probably wouldn’t think, “Hey, I’m a crazy internet dude.” I’ll ask Jens if he thinks I’m crazy. And I’ll tell him that ‘crazy in love with his music’ doesn’t count.
We met up at Century Tavern only to find that it had closed down. Supposedly, Century Tavern was once a “a melting pot of Goth chicks, salarymen, secretaries and slightly mad staff” (reviewed by kieranclulow). After renovations, they turned a great dive-bar into a commercialized, slot machine haven… WITH BOOZE!!! It was clean, and you could see the floors. This made many people sad. I was still intrigued by this former landmark and wanted to check it out in its ruined state. Now it just sat barred off, a floor above a bustling Hungry Jack’s.
We located another bar across the street with the helpful sign “Pub” out front. I’ve discovered that alcohol is not in short supply in Oz. C. bought the first “shout,” and we shared some huge indie nerd moments. We discussed music from Broken Social Scene to Kashmir to Wolf Parade and our favorite EPs, and I think I said “post-indiecore,” or at least I wanted to so bad. In between name dropping, we took sips from schooners of Carlton Draught. When you are an indie music nerd, a conversation about music is more about looking cool than actually having a conversation. D. could care less. He slammed beers like a thirsty wombat at an all-you-can-drink billabong.
We made our way over to The Metro and grabbed a spot for the evening to catch the opening act “New Buffalo.” New Buffalo is Sally Seltmann, a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter. She put together an underwhelming act that was hindered by the atmosphere of rabid BSS fans not looking for slower, thought provoking music. Don’t get me wrong; I love New Buffalo, or at least the one free mp3 I acquired from her website a few months ago. I couldn’t find it on there today, but if you want to do some searching, “Recovery” is worth a listen.
Broken Social Scene hit the stage at 9:30pm, and they played. And played. And played. Two hours and 15 minutes into the show, the band left the stage. An encore was demanded and would be had. Kevin Drew came back on the stage saying they don’t do encores, but he would talk with the crowd for a moment. He asked for a cigarette from the crowd and got hit by a barrage of smokes. He lit a few up until he found the flavor he wanted. After a few draws and some chatter, he obliged to one more song. He said, “I like to end shows on a 20 minute song.” He wasn’t kidding. 45 minutes later, he had played two songs, and the band left the stage to screaming, exhausted fans. I came into the Metro as a fan of BSS, but left with great love and respect for the band.
C. explained a bit of the concept of the band beforehand. The name “Broken Social Scene” is a fairly literal view of how the band functions. The band has grown to somewhere around 14 people, and several of them cycle in and out. As she said, it’s more or less an art experiment to see if the band will keep going. Rather than pretending like I know a lot about this band, I’ll link you to a good wikipedia article on Broken Social Scene.
Not to bore you further, but C. was ecstatic about seeing a fellow Canadian, Lisa Lobsinger, now on lead vocals. C. watched Lisa play small pubs in Calgary, to lead vocals in Reverie Sound Revue (free downloads available from this site), and now captivating a room packed with people on the other side of the globe. It was surreal for C. as it was for myself. Lisa has such a captivating voice. Everything seemed to stop in the crowd when she sang on “Bandwitch” and “Major Label Debut.”
I figure all this explanation of a concert is foolishness. I mainly just want to document it for myself. I’ve pulled some URLs if you would like to download some Broken Social Scene videos. They don’t have these links available on their site (directly, at least), so I may have to pull these links eventually.
Hopefully you enjoy their music as much as I do.