Broken Social Scene and The Sea and Cake
Riviera Theatre; Sat 2
There’s a moment at the end of every Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony when the stage fills with artists of all stripes, joined together in a jam that’s always more bizarre than brazen. A Broken Social Scene show can approximate that sense of camaraderie sans the stuffy gravitas. If the number of guitarists on hand seems excessive, it’s with the aim of transforming relatively rudimentary indie rock into socially inclusive epics.
Kevin Drew is undoubtedly the star of the sprawling cast. Buoyed by the success of a decade-plus career, he doesn’t hesitate to transform what’s ostensibly a rock concert into an empowerment seminar.
The Toronto-based act’s affection for Chicago’s art-rock mafia has never been much of a secret. John McEntire produced the group’s new Forgiveness Rock Record at his Soma headquarters, leaving it refreshingly free of the lavish multitracking that weighed down previous BSS platters.
As he did at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, McEntire reprises his sideman role here, filling in on auxiliary percussion following an opening set that sees him seated behind the drum kit with his long-running act the Sea and Cake. If singer-guitarist Sam Prekop’s ambient left turn on his latest solo effort, Old Punch Card, is any indication, the outfit may have a few surprises in store. But even if it’s the same tried-and-true pop that’s kept the breezy band in good standing since the mid-’90s, it sure beats Billy Joel and Joan Jett doing a Dave Clark Five tune together.