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Broken Social Scene Live Ann Arbor Nov 7 2007

If there is one band whose music has carried me through miles and miles of running, car trips, highs and lows since 2004 it’s been Broken Social Scene. Bad fortune has caught me before when it comes to live shows. *Cough* Andrew Bird. But I missed the huge heyday of BSS when they had 14 people on stage plus a string and horn section. Despite that mental setback. I was giddily excited to see Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew’s Spirit if. The album is more focused on front man Drew’s songs. Most are excellent and apart from subtle collaborative elements being missing the music seems purely in the vein of You Forgot it in People and the Eponymous release that captured my imagination.

Prior to starting the set Kevin Drew asked the crowd if we ever felt the awkwardness of not knowing if you should sit or stand. He offered to be the middle man for the audience and tell us when it was appropriate to sit or stand. He adjusted his microphone and then two seconds later says, “Stand up motherfuckers”. The show started with a zing from Kevin Drew’s Spirit If, “The Lucky Ones” The following three songs kicked ass as well including cause = time and Stars and Sons (bad ass bass line).

Kevin Drew chatted amiably with the audience prior to starting most songs. The band seemed really tight most of the time even though three guitars is a lot to process for a listener through a noisy PA. Kevin forgot the lyrics to a couple of newer songs. During one song he actually let the band jam for a minute or so while he checked a lyric sheet. We even saw him confer with Brendan his major collaborator on most of the albums about the lyrics. Afterwards Kevin admitted to the audience he asked the guys in the band if they knew the words, and they told him flat out, “We have no idea what you’re singing man.” “I’m a mumbler, I admit it.” Once the rocky part of the show with the forgotten lyrics was over.

The band played almost all of Spirit If, and a good number of the fast rockers from their eponymous album. They closed out the set with a crowd pleasing rendition of “Major Label Debut”.

I really really enjoyed the show, but still want to see the full BSS chaos of 14 people on stage with two drum kits, 4 guitars, keyboards, horn sections, Feist and Emily Haines on vocals, plus Jason Collett and Kevin Drew. The energy for the show was quite high, but I sort of felt I was seeing the decaffeinated version. This might have been due to Kevin continually saying he thought he had food poisoning. But I was happy to have been in the crowd. For a married father of two it was a wild Tuesday night.

Tne lyrics I walked away with from _It’s all Gonna Break_ , Kevin remembered perfectly.

??i don’t love i just fight with the violence in ourselves
its all gonna break
and you all want the lovely music to save your lives
and you all want the lovely music to save your lives
keep it coming
their is no lie to save your life
keep it coming
this is the lie to save your life
why are you always fucking ghosts
why are you always fucking ghosts
why………
it’s been such a long
life that we trust
your heart is a whore
and love is just lust.
you want what you can’t
and you can’t cause of fear
we’ve got to get
out of here
why are you always………
its been and it settles down and fights to love.
its all gonna break.??