Broken Social Scene and Land of Talk shatter expectations at First Avenue

Broken Social Scene and Land of Talk First Avenue, October 13 By Amber Schadewald

A Monday night is never best for seeing a show, but a packed crowd at First Ave sucked it up and enjoyed the music of two bands who both played notably awesome sets, but each for very different reasons. Both Canadian and literally conjoined through a common band member, Lizzie Powell, Land of Talk successfully opened, followed by long songs from the overpopulated Broken Social Scene. Maybe it’s because I personally prefer Land of Talk, but I think the show could’ve used far more of them and far less of the chosen headline/parent band.

Broken Social Scene and Land of Talk shatter expectations at First Avenue

In a black T, light denim skinnys and brown work boots, Powell was casually dashing as she rocked the strings off her guitars, ripping across them to create the strong yet never overbearing sound that is Land of Talk. Her hair is currently cut into a bit of a mushroom shape and it flopped around as the band rocked out on the limited set. Exchanging thumbs-up and mouthing “awesome” to one another, the three-piece was totally in tune and sharing smirks with the audience as evidence.

Playing mostly from their album “Some Are Lakes,” which was released only last week, Powell dedicated the title track to her parents with awkward charm. Her voice somewhat childlike in its audible vulnerability, Powell is glazed with maturity and a pair of super buff biceps. Switching up the plan, Powell convinced the other band members to play “All My Friends” from their 2006 debut EP and also cooed the audience with the new slow track “It’s Okay,” dramatically closing her eyes during the emotional chorus.

Around 10 p.m., Broken Social Scene took over the stage and literally covered it with members. Over its nearly ten years of existence, the band has seen a river of incredible solo artists who shack up with the group momentarily. The newest addition to the current group of approximately ten, is Land of Talk’s Powell, who throughout the set, popped out to the mic and then back behind the speakers. The band started slow, easing in layer upon layer of three guitars, one bass, two percussionists and keys. Add in trombone, trumpet, tenor saxophone and bugle, and the stage is in a constant flurry of ambient indie rock.

Their first couple songs whose names I’m not purely confident in identifying due to their similarity, were a frenzy of musician’s feeding off one another’s playing, manually echoing from guitar left to right for an almost spiritual effect. Like the finale of a summer firework’s display, more good stuff just kept appearing. Brendan Canning (BSS founder) was kicking, jumping and getting rowdy, while Kevin Drew’s heart pounded out of his chest from the welcomed commotion.

--Amber Schadewald

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