Broken Social Scene at Boulder Theater, 3/19/11
Photo: Adam Perry Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene.
03.19. 11 | Boulder Theater
Dressed in a cream-colored parka, Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew skipped onto the Boulder Theater stage last night pumping his fist along to the Toronto-based indie supergroup's customarily euphoric opener, "KC Accidental," from the band's 2003 breakthrough You Forgot It in People.
Seeing as most of Saturday featured T-shirt weather in Boulder, it crossed my mind that the proudly Canadian rock star could be holding on tight to the idea that winter might not be over. Then again, it'd be wrong to expect absolute reason from the man made famous by singing lines like, "I swore I drank your piss that night/To see if I could still live."
"I'm trying to lose weight, people," Drew said. "That's what the parka's for. We're gonna play as many songs as we can... and I'm sweatin' it out."
So was the packed Boulder Theater, full of C.U. and Naropa hipsters and thirty-something music geeks standing shoulder to shoulder, drinks in hand amid the intermittent clouds of pot smoke Drew is always requesting come his way when he's on stage. And unlike its last few tours, Broken Social Scene -- which currently features four guitars, a two-man horn section, bass and drums -- is now filling its set lists with fan favorites rather than toying around with hit-or-miss material from Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew's solo records, so feeling crammed in didn't feel so bad.
Right out of the gate, the band sustained a frenzied momentum with up-tempo, ecstatic guitar workouts such as "7/4 Shoreline," "Fire-Eyed Boy" and "Stars and Sons" (with its big "Freebird" ending), performing in front of a cloth backdrop featuring a mountain range not unlike the Flatirons which tower over Boulder. As ever, Drew worked the loving audience, which, in some cases, knew the lyrics better than he did, and the sizeable band -- highlighted by the awe-inspiringly fluid drumming of frizzy-haired Justin Peroff.
Photo: Adam Perry Broken Social Scene
Supported by three rhythm guitarists for most of the night, Andrew Whiteman seemed more indulgent than ever on lead, insinuating assortments of improvised laser-like melodies over nearly every inch of music that didn't feature vocals, in an effort to juxtapose Johnny Thunders and Jerry Garcia. Sometimes the metrosexual Whiteman came off as about forty years late to help found Wings, and sometimes it worked.
Saturday was my first chance to witness Broken Social Scene singer Lisa Lobsinger, who has an incredibly tough gig filling the shoes of not only Feist but also Amy Milan and Emily Haines, all of whom cut their teeth as mesmerizing Broken Social Scene sidewomen.
Lobsinger's first chance to win the Boulder Theater crowd's favor was "7/4 Shoreline," which the versatile Feist famously highlighted on 2005's Broken Social Scene like a dynamo in high heels. Lobsinger conversely stalked the stage slowly like Miles Davis, often with her back to the audience as if it were an enemy, and stood still while singing Feist's jubilant verses in a silky middle range before again turning away from the crowd.