By Clayton Chaney
For the first time in seven years, Canadian rock band Broken Social Scene made a stop in Austin at Stubb’s BBQ on their 2018 tour. Like many artists that come through the ATX, they showed an immense amount of love for the city and the people in it. The band came out with a lot of energy, letting the crowd know they were just as happy to be there as we all were.There was a mutual gratefulness to have shared the experience. It’s awesome to see bands still playing with the same amount of passion as they did when they first started. The band performed with 10 out of their 19 current members which gave them a powerful, but not overpowering, stage presence. There was an overwhelming sense of contentedness in the atmosphere. Everyone there was ecstatic to be in the moment.
The first half of the set featured a majority of jams from their new album, “Hug of Thunder,” like “Halfway Home,” ‘The Protest Song,” and “Stay Happy.” In between those, one of the lead vocalists and original member, Kevin Drew, took a brief moment to dedicate their song “Texico B**ches” to our great state. This one got the crowd pumped and moving with quick choppy drums, rhythmic guitar chords, and dynamic psychedelic sounds.
About halfway through the set, they played their biggest hit, “Sweetest Kill” which is filled with simple melodies and deep conscious provoking lyrics. After this, it seemed like everyone in the venue was relaxed and in a comfortable place. Before diving into the second half of their set, Kevin brought the crowd together for a very powerful moment: inviting everyone to let out their loudest yells to release us of all the negative distractions in our lives. They kicked things off again with “Fire Eye’d Boy.” They finished out the set with hits from their first and second albums, “You Forget it in People” and “Broken Social Scene.” They had a breathtaking performance of their song “Late Nineties Rock for Missionaries,” which transitions beautifully into “Shampoo Suicide.”
This band takes you on a unique journey that lets find your groove but before getting too comfortable, challenges you to continuously follow them to a new level. The band created an open and free environment that reassured you that everything was going to be alright. In this hectic world of constant chaos we are always looking for ways to unwind and connect with people. Live music is a great outlet for people and when the performers are authentic and genuine with their show it makes for a surreal experience for everyone involved. Broken Social Scene reminded us what life is truly about, and that is coming together for a greater good than self. It’s hard not get lost in our own worlds but it’s important to remember that we are all in this together. If we set aside things like fear, stress, and judgments, we can all share these amazing experiences, that bands like Broken Social Scene create for the world.
Featured image by Clayton Chaney.