Band blended its eclectic and heartfelt symphonic style with modern, post-rock baroque.
Touring in support of “Forgiveness Rock Record,” their first studio LP in five years, Toronto-based indie band Broken Social Scene might rival certain long-running Broadway musicals in the way it constantly changes members. And at its sold-out show at the Henry Fonda Music Box on Monday night, the band almost didn’t make the gig for lack of an understudy.
“Give it up for Brendan Canning everybody,” band co-founder Kevin Drew shouted out to the audience about BSS’s other constant, “we almost had to cancel tonight because Brendan has the flu.”
Given that the venue sold out its 1,300 capacity in less than a few hours, Canning’s fortitude — contributing to a generous 19-song set spread out over two hours — was likely considered heroic by the ecstatic throng.
Showing the kind of musical elasticity that has made BSS adaptable to pop music’s ever-changing landscape, the band mixed new and old, blending its eclectic and heartfelt symphonic style with modern, post-rock baroque. Included were “Stars and Suns” from the 2006 film “Half Nelson,” which the band scored. The band included a horn section on some songs, including a full, rich-sounding version of “7/4 Shoreline.”
The absence of BSS’s most famous alum, Leslie Feist, was conspicuous, and her replacement, Lisa Lobsinger seemed nervous in trying to match Feist’s style, particularly on the charming and melancholy “Anthem’s for a Seventeen Year Old Girl”; indeed her version was so true to the original that it left little room for her to give the song her personal stamp.
Much better was “All to All,” a track she recorded with the band, on which her voice took on the quality of a stringed instrument, seamlessly blending with the digital orchestration.
On tap are sold-out shows at New York’s Webster Hall on Friday and the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Saturday.