NXNE 2015: Broken Social Scene (ish) @ Lee's Palace

THURSDAY – It was three in the morning by the time Kevin Drew stepped out onto the stage at Lee's Palace. By that point, the Paper Bag Records showcase celebrating their 100th release was already getting into its eighth hour. Many of the best bands playing anywhere at this year's North By Northeast had already taken the stage. Born Ruffians. PS I Love You. Young Rival. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan.  Frog Eyes. Laura Barrett. Mozart's Sister. And it had all been building to this.

Drew stood behind his microphone and told a story. It was about his band, Broken Social Scene, and their first album, You Forgot It In People. It was about the moment that — without any exaggeration at all — changed Canadian music forever. Broken Social Scene's second release was Paper Bag's very first. And so it was Paper Bag who sent a copy of that album to Pitchfork to be reviewed. The 9.2 score and the glowing words that came with it not only launched BSS into international stardom, it heralded the beginning of a new age for Canadian indie music: the age of the Internet. With national borders less of a cultural barrier than ever before, bands from the northern half of our continent would finally get a chance to make it big without having to leave home. This was the age of Metric and of Stars and of Arcade Fire. And it all started with Paper Bag.

So it would be hard to imagine any more appropriate climax for the night than the one we got: Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning on stage together — along with some of the best talent our country has to offer. They were backed by Cuff The Duke; they were accompanied on vocals by the Luya's Jessie Stein and Young Galaxy's Catherine McCandless. It was the perfect three-song finale to one hell of a memorable night. "KC Accidental." "Lover's Spit." "Almost Crimes."




Read all our coverage of NXNE 2015 here.

Words and photos by Adam Bunch, Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project and Toronto Historical Jukebox. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at adam@littleredumbrella.com.


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