There’s usually something for everyone to do on Halloween in Toronto: partiers can hit up one of the many clubs downtown for a night of devilish dancing, people-watchers can traverse through the masses and extravagant costumes on Church Street, family-types can partake in some good old fashioned trick-or-treating, and homebodies can rent a good horror flick and curl up in front of the TV with the lights on.
But for those who don’t fit into any of these scenes, there was one more this year.
Parkdale’s Parts & Labour hosted the grand prize for Virgin America’s Hometown Hideouts Contest on Sunday night for its four winners and their friends: a private concert performed by Canada’s indie-rock gods (or on this night, devils) Broken Social Scene. Torontoist and SFist hosted the contest, so we got to come, too.
Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning formed the base of Broken Social Scene in Toronto in 1999, but when they began recruiting friends to contribute to a melody here and some vocals there, the band eventually snowballed into one of the biggest and most influential musical forces in the national music scene. Since then, countless indie icons have at one point called themselves a member of the constantly evolving collective: artists like (Leslie) Feist and Jason Collett were involved in the band’s early days; Emily Haines and James Shaw from Metric are also BSS alumni; and so are Amy Millan and Evan Cranley from Stars, K-os, Jason Tait (The Weakerthans), Murray Lightburn (The Dears), and Sebastien Grainger (Death From Above 1979).
In fact, Broken Social Scene’s transformation of Canada’s indie scene from neglected to nurtured is almost impossible to sum up in a short introduction—it’s far better encapsulated in a book like Stuart Berman’s This Book is Broken or in a film like Bruce McDonald’s This Movie is Broken.
With their latest release Forgiveness Rock Record, the twice-Juno-Award-winning, twice-Polaris-Prize-nominated lineup of nine can handily sell out venues like Sound Academy, and more. So even though there was no candy for us this Halloween, we still got one pretty sweet treat.
Photos by Harry Choi/Torontoist.
: This post originally contained a timeline of the show. In the interest of a full recounting yet to come of the show, that timeline has been removed.