Broken Social Scene's name has always been a misnomer as the sprawling indie rock band's music and ethos is all about community and healing. And both were much needed on May 23 when the Toronto group took to the stage in Manchester, England the night after the Ariana Grande concert suicide bombing.
Opening up their European "Hug of Thunder" tour at Albert Hall, only two kilometres from the terror attack site, band leader Kevin Drew offered words of comfort and condolence.
"Thank you for showing up. Thank you for coming out tonight. What’s most important is tonight we're here together, all of us," Drew said before bringing out hometown hero Johnny Marr, famed guitarist from The Smiths.
Then they kicked off the show with quite simply the most perfect song selection imaginable, given the young female targets of the tragedy that had unfolded amidst the pink balloons of an Ariana Grande show — the Emily Haines-led "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl."
The crowd, surely still in shock, came together to sing along with the emotional epic's exhortations to "dream about me" and its now-heartrending chorus: "Now you're all gone, got your make-up on and you're not coming back."
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