Concert Review: Broken Social Scene at Harbourfront Centre w/ Feist, Metric, Stars, Jason Collett, Apostle of Hustle & more

When I moved to Toronto three years ago, I started to hear a lot about a band named Broken Social Scene. I saw their name on t-shirts and magazines everywhere around the city. It wasn’t until a while later that I was finally introduced to their magic.

And that’s when I was inducted into the greatness of Canadian indie music. I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough.

Here I am today, a little bit older and a little bit wiser. Just like the folks that make up Broken Social Scene. I know and love their side projects and of course the incredible music that happens when they all come back together. They’ve been idle for a while but this summer things have picked back up what with Stuart Berman‘s This Book is Broken, the Arts & Crafts showcase at NXNE, the Polaris Prize shortlist announcement this week for Metric, and of course, they’re recording a new album.

The band pulled out all the stops for last night’s show on the Sirius Stage at the Harbourfront Centre. First, they announced that there would be a film crew recording the night’s events for an upcoming movie (“that’s going ALL OVER THE WORLD!”) called This Movie is Broken. I’m glad the band is finally getting this attention, and hopefully their true fans don’t stop loving them if they get a little bit closer to mainstream.

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Who understands Broken Social Scene’s music better than Torontonians? So much of their being is this city and what’s in it. Even at the ‘end’ of the show, Kevin Drew was yelling things like ‘we eat here’ ‘we live here’  you get the deal. Anyways… I bet everyone somewhat understands their music, but I believe that Torontonians or anyone who’s ever lived here gets it 10x better.

When I close my eyes during a BSS song, I see so much beautiful imagery. I see a sunrise letting its light bounce between high-rises, I see the harbourfront, I see cops and robbers speeding through the streets, I see a cute couple in a park. This makes me love BSS even more.

This show was the first time I ever got to see BSS. There’s been times between when I moved here and now that I could have gone, but something always came up. I’m glad this was my first time.

The band brought out everyone to please the crowd and the film crew- including Feist, Amy Milan and Evan Cranley from Stars, Emily Haines and James Shaw from Metric, Jason Collett, Apostle of Hustle (and BSS founder) Andrew Whiteman, Happiness Project’s Charles Spearin and Julie Penner, the usual Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger and more. There was a total of 18 people on stage at one point.

Highlights included hits like “7/4 Shoreline,” “Almost Crime,” “Anthem of a 17 Year Old Girl,” “KC Accidental,” and more. A lot of the people who have their own projects got to play their own songs as well. Metric had “Gimmie Sympathy,” Apostle of Hustle played “Soul Unwind,” Feist and Kevin Drew had a mash-up duet, Amy Milan played a new song (i believe, prove me right/wrong), and Jason Collett played “I’ll Bring the Sun” that clearly had the band the most excited.

It was a magical two hours. Atmospheric, swirling, colourful and inspirational.

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Were you there? Share your thoughts in the comments!

*Update!!*

*Found the setlist! Here!*

*Also, check out some great photos here*

*More review and tons of videos here*

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11 thoughts on “Concert Review: Broken Social Scene at Harbourfront Centre w/ Feist, Metric, Stars, Jason Collett, Apostle of Hustle & more

  1. This was the 1st time i saw them too, and it was great that all of them came considering it was free. There was a song that kevin drew sang something about “the sweetest kill”, anyway that was great and kc accidental was great as well.

  2. Great concert. Fun crowd, excellent vibe and beautiful scenery. It’s a party on stage in which everyone is having a blast, and they transmit their energy to the crowd. This was my 4th time seeing this band in concert. I love the solo projects and this concert was a gift. So glad I went.

  3. Some top-of-head factchecking: the violin player is Julie Penner, the BSS drummer is Justin Peroff and Sam Goldberg’s name is correct (he put out an under-rated disc under the name Hawaii in ’03 and was in a band called Bodega before that). Hopefully the movie will have a pop-up video like function to identify everyone.

    I have a track from the show up here: http://mechanicalforestsound.blogspot.com/2009/07/recording-broken-social-scene-ft-emily.html

    • Hey there, I knew who Julie Penner, but thanks about the other two names! A pop up function on the movie would be hilarious (and so helpful)!

  4. I went down to the show but as usual there were too many idiots taller than me and I couldn’t see a damn thing- so I left after one and a half songs.

    It sucked to leave the concert but standing there frustrated would have been worse. The only shows I can functionally attend are those in venues with seats where people are polite enough to stay seated. Sigh.

  5. I was there and it was also my fourth time seeing Broken Social Scene and I have to say that it was by far the best I have heard them. I say heard because I am also a little vertically challenged and saw nothing but the backs of people’s heads. But I figured that since they were filming the set that it was worth staying, even if just to say that I was there.

  6. They played a lot of songs that have never been formally recored on a CD. They played a song called the bangwagon and a Kevin Drew song that was featured on MTV live. It was great seeing old faces that gave so much to Broken Social Scene like Julie Penner

  7. Hey guys! Just updated the post at the bottom with some cool links to check out from the show! You can see the set list, much better pictures than mine, and tons of videos! Thanks so much for all of your support. Keep RoundLetters in mind! 😉

  8. right after BSS finished, there was a film crew at the back, some girl about 5 foot 3 was being recorded walking towards queens quay and then back towards the stage, I think she had a cowboy hat on, the crew was pushing people out of the way, anyways was this part of the filming for the movie?? I was in the background,
    BSS was fantastic, beautiful music!!

  9. There are concerts and there are Concerts. This was a Concert. I was at the back – 10 feet more and I’d have been in the lake – but it didn’t matter – the magic must have reached all the way out to the Islands. A wonderful evening.

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