Of all the shows I’ve seen this year, I’d rank Broken Social Scene at the State Theatre in Falls Church as one of the least likely ones for crowdsurfing. But yet there he was, in the middle of one of BSS’s benign, lushly orchestrated indie-pop songs, bouncing around on a sea of hands and earning the mostly impotent ire of the venue security staff.

I found this rather disconcerting. Seriously? Crowdsurfing at a Broken Social Scene show? (Of course, this being my first BSS show despite hopping briefly on the You Forgot It In People bandwagon half a decade ago, it’s possible that I’m just being ignorant.)

In any case, audience antics aside—-and the front row was more what I expected, with wide-eyed early-20-somethings both male and female singing along to every word—-BSS delivered a very good set. Because the band’s members are involved in somewhere between 400 and 500 spinoff groups, solo projects and so on (exaggeration, but only slightly), they certainly have a diverse array of material to draw from in addition to the actual BSS records. The crowd did seem to reserve its most enthusiastic responses for many of the You Forgot It In People cuts, but one quirky highlight was Do Make Say Think‘s Charles Spearin playing a tape of his neighbor speaking about happiness and love, and Leon Kingstone precisely emulating the pitches and cadence of her speech with his saxophone. (I seem to recall this sneaking in some form into one of the shows DMST played at the Black Cat last year.)


The show was standing-room-only (aside from the theater-style seating in the balcony), unusual for the State Theatre, and completely sold out. A few more photos here, including some of opener Land of Talk.