Broken Social Scene

Austin City Limits Festival

September 17, 2004

Anyone can make noise. But, creating layers of music that correspond with one another is much more difficult. Toronto Rock band Broken Social Scene were up to the challenge at the Austin City Limits Festival Friday afternoon.

It was guitars on top of guitars on top of guitars. The eleven member collective had at least five guitarists going at once. They formed (Voltron) a modern rock mini-orchestra with bass, drums, percussion, piano, and trumpet.

Their sound was atmospheric. The music was wistful, sincere, sensitive, gloomy, and life-emulating. After looking at their song titles and lyrics, it’s obvious these guys believe people have lost compassion. So, they’re compensating with their own soundtrack to or for life. BSS are the optimistic, overly earnest guys you know who dig theater and make money off of puppet shows.

The show was fun, and the band was tight. Since it had discernible rock structure and straightforward melodies, the music wasn’t completely psychedelic. But, BSS went off on tangents in which I got lost in their multi-instrumental foray.

The band filled the stage, so it was like they had their own little party going on up there. The crowd picked up on this energy and gave them love in return. The music was a little pretentious, but it was soothing. I’d definitely buy one of their albums.


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