If Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew’s words were at all close to truth last Saturday, the group’s date at The Michigan Theater was nothing more than a close to its current tour: “As a band, we’d never do our last show in a place where you can’t drink,” he said.

Mike Hulsebus
Broken Social Scene leader Kevin Drew, caught mid-croon. Drew called out for alcohol reinforcements as the show waned (ALEX DZIADOSZ/Daily)

The theater was packed as close to the gills as possible for a venue with designated seating; crowd members kept leaving their seats, against the orders of the disgruntled security staff, in search of a better view of what was rumored to be the indie-rock goliath’s final outing as an 11 (sometimes 12 or more)-piece collective. “Our last show will be at some kid’s bar mitzvah – and we’ll all be on acid.”

Whether Drew’s jokey reassurances were a veil or not, the band certainly seemed prepared to make Ann Arbor its last gasp. The performance was lined with a noticeably exhausted passion, but “Hotel” still glowed with a languid, seething sexuality and BSS even pulled out the rarely played “Canada vs. America.” At points any other band would have used as an escape – after Drew and Brendan Canning pulled kids onstage to dance, after the lineup was stripped down and built back up – Broken Social Scene continued to play.

“I can’t go out after fucking up ‘Pacific Theme!’ ” Drew howled at one point nearly two and a half hours into the show. He checked for time, noting the number of songs the group could fit in before the theater’s 12 a.m. curfew – “one more song” became two, became three.

Co-founder and bassist Canning came out to meet fans after the set, making small talk and tiredly squeezing a few shoulders before taking off. Canning’s girlfriend, lingering by the stage after Do Make Say Think’s opening set, alluded that the band’s upcoming hiatus would be indefinite. It’d be difficult to ever again put together a lineup like the one on You Forgot It In People, she admitted.

Whether Saturday night’s performance symbolized the end of a tour or the end of Broken Social Scene in its current evolution, Ann Arbor should consider the show something for the books.

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