On Friday night CityFolk featured one of Canada’s more intriguing acts, Broken Social Scene. Fresh off releasing their latest album Hug of Thunder they played an hour long set featuring songs from their diverse catalogue.
What makes Broken Social Scene interesting is the constant rotating cast of members from other major Canadian Indie acts including Metric, Feist, Stars, Apostle of Hustle, Do Make Say Think, KC Accidental, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Amy Millan, and Jason Collett. With such a diverse lineup the music obviously takes on different and varying characteristics as almost every song has a different lineup, sometimes members changing instruments as well.
Visually, having so many members created a very immersive and engaging experience. Keeping with the theme of the week, the light show was incredible. However, the show was one of the best listening experiences I’ve had in a long time. Having so many vocalists meant that there were a lot of multiple part harmonies that were simply incredible. The music was awesome as everything could be played live. No backing tracks needed. It was quite a contrast from seeing Post Malone by himself with a DJ playing to a completely electronic back track.
Broken Social Scene created a unique listening experience by being able to recreate a fully live sound whereas many artists nowadays use backing tracks, samples and live pitch correction. The difference is not immediately discernable but it’s definitely tangible as the set progresses. There’s an added level of integrity and even honesty from the artist when everything that you’re hearing is being performed live.
As an overall experience I’d give Broken Social Scene a 10/10 even though their style of music isn’t my favourite and I’m not immensely familiar with their music, I definitely had a lot of “Wow” moments that left me wanting to see them play a proper full length set. Although I’m sure they won’t be the best performance of the week they definitely were a remarkable experience that made this year’s CityFolk memorable to me.
By Dylan Denton