It’s a rare sight to see a hipster in Ithaca. But for those select few, the true hipster showed up to the State Theater on Friday night to celebrate the band that is on any true flannel wearer’s iTunes recently played list. Brought by Dan Smalls Presents, Broken Social Scene wowed the crowd and even got a few to dance beyond the normal “bobbing your head.”
Broken Social Scene is a collaborative indie rock band from Canada. The group’s members are constantly in flux between six to as many as 19 members at a time, forming one “supergroup,” yet free to break off into sideprojects (this is because in true indie sense, everyone is involved in more than one project). Starting as an instrumental band, Kevin Drew and Bredndan Canning recorded Feel Good Lost. Lacking a truly exciting live show, the duo called together friends from around the Toronto area and created their second album You Forgot It In People.
To start the night off, the crowd, which were lined up at the front of the stage to form a nicely organized mob, was treated to The Sea and Cake. Another indie-rock band hailing from Chicago, the group’s stage presence and sound got better and better with each song. Members Sam Prekop (vocals), Archer Prewitt (guitar, piano), John McEntire (percussion, drums) and Eric Claridge (bass) bantered on stage while their songs created a sense of united ambiance that, although not danceable music, was music that the crowd was eager to listen to. As a group, they were comofortable in front of the crowd due to their experience touring since 1994. By the end of their hour set, the audience was eagerly applauding the group.
Next up was the main act. The members of Broken Social Scene on tour were Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, David French, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger and John McEntire. The stage was decorated with a backdrop that was an image of a mountain with city buildings in the background, reminiscent of the large hipster scene that is developing in Brookyln, New York, along with the Tornoto hipster scene that had inspired the group.
The set list was a mixture of some of their new songs and fan favorites from their previous albums including the toe tappers “Forced to Love,” “Texico Bitches,” “Cause = Time” and “KC Accidental.”
The energy on stage was crazy (in a good way). After every song, members of the band would switch instruments, some walking off stage to be replaced by another and it kept the energy rushing. They never tired (only once to complain about how hot it was in the theatre, only to want to make it hotter). Throughout the songs, members would be jumping around (yes, even jumping jacks), to others who weren’t playing, randomly walk across the stage. The crowd couldn’t tell where to look first. It was as if a minature city scene was unfolding before their eyes.
The crowd itself was vibrant and energetic. Even in the hot theatre, everyone was on their feet, some even eagerly dancing to the consistently upbeat tunes. And after four hours of non-stop heavy drum beats and heavier guitar riffs, the crowd was still going strong.
What makes Broken Social Scene such an incredible band to see live was the perfect blend of all the elements. While listening to the blaring trumpets and saxaphone duet along with seeing the crowd cheer them on, it is something that leaves you feeling a certain kind of high. When people say they are hipsters or are into indie rock, unless they’ve had an experience like going to a Broken Social Scene concert, it is extremly doubtful that they are. Because it really is a community. It’s a culture of vibrant, talented and, believe it or not, energetic individuals.