Broken Social Scene Kool Haus, Toronto ON - January 21, 2006

Broken Social Scene Kool Haus, Toronto ON - January 21, 2006
A two-night, sold-out residency at Kool Haus found Toronto's darlings playing their first hometown gig since last July, as well as the first since the release of their self-titled album. The second night found the multi-bodied collective in good spirits, beginning the set with a new tune before they settled into familiar territory. Feist came running onstage full of zest to join Kevin Drew for the sparkling "7/4 (Shoreline)," making sporadic "as needed" appearances for songs like "Almost Crimes," which also featured Death From Above 1979's Sebastian Grainger on drums and Stars' Amy Millan, who pulled extra weight for a missing Emily Haines on "Anthems for a Fifteen Year-Old Girl" (changed in title to honour the shooting death of a local teenager on Boxing Day in downtown Toronto). Both versions of "Major Label Debut" found their way into the set, along with favourites like "Stars and Sons" (complete with a unified clap-along) and "Ibi Dreams of Pavement," which, despite some vocal failures by Drew, sustained its uplifting posture. Rotating instruments and members regularly, the size of the band constantly shifted according to each song, much like the on-off improvisational tendencies of the musicians. Like the summer show with Modest Mouse, BSS utilised their Toronto connections and presented what seemed like more than 20 members throughout the two-and-a-half-hour-plus show. Yes, it was a marathon night for the band, who seemed like kids at an amusement park, continually refusing to leave the stage song after song. As MC, Drew found a comfort zone working the mic, which outside of the songs featured plenty of banter that forced some to depart before the encore. As the night came to a close, which included an ace run-through of "Lover's Spit" and a "lite" version of "Superconnected," Broken Social Scene made sure no fan left without understanding just how imperative and endowed this musical co-op really are.