Rob and I braved the wilds of I-66 to catch the Broken Social Scene at the State Theatre in Falls Church on Wednesday. We got there right as music was supposed to begin (8:30) but were faced with a line that literally stretched around the block. And this being the suburbs, blocks are long. I suppose the front desk folks weren't used to current hipsters, just ageing ones? So we went in to Don and Clare's Beach Shack next door, an odd place run by clear Florida Gator fans. They do have $2 PBRs though, which is something. Anyway, the line died down and we went in a few minutes before everyone's favorite Canadian indie rock collective came on. It was actually a much smaller lineup than I expected. My only BSS experience was when a few of them joined The Constantines on stage in Minneapolis for a few tunes, and those turned into ensemble jam sessions where half a dozen people were banging tamborines like the world depended on it. So it was with a mix of trepidation and excitement that we geared up for the set.
It was, on the whole, pretty good. There's a fairly simple formula: if Kevin Drew's singing lead, stick around. If it's anyone else -- besides whichever token female is touring with them -- it may be time to use the restroom, get another beer, or stand in the cold while your friends have a cigarette. The band was touring behind co-founder Brendan Canning's new "solo" album, Something for All of Us, but the selections they played from it were just really dull. I already talked about the best songs here, but I also liked "Shampoo Suicide" and "KC Accidental", the latter of which got a real rise from the crowd as they kicked into those opening notes. "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl" was nice too, but while I may be no musician, it seems like it'd be hard to mess that one up.
They did a few songs of each of the dudes' solo projects. I will only tell you that I will probably never listen to Sam Goldberg's Hawaii, but I made a mental note to look more into Do Make Say Think. The show kept going on and on, and I suspect a number of folks took off to catch the last train back to DC. We actually picked up a few stragglers ourselves, some clearly confused showgoers sitting on the corner of I-66 and Lee Highway, the hour nearing 1 am, wondering how the hell they'd get back into DC. Obviously, cabs can be called, but it was still a real pain in the ass to have the show out there. All that said, a decent venue with numerous bars, pretty good sightlines, okay sound, good beer prices, and free and easy parking. Could've been worse.
Broken Social Scene - "Ibi Dreams of Pavement" (Live)