Inside Broken Social Scene’s emotional Manchester concert last night

Inside Broken Social Scene’s emotional Manchester concert last night

Last night, Broken Social Scene was in the difficult position of launching their European tour at Albert Hall in Manchester, just one day after 22 people were killed at an Ariana Grande concert a few kilometres away. Understandably, some fans stayed home. But those who showed up were treated to a heartwarming showing of strength and compassion—with a surprise guest appearance by former Smiths guitarist (and Manchester legend) Johnny Marr. Here, a recap of the cathartic evening.

Yesterday, the former chapel announced that programming would go on as scheduled—albeit with increased security and police presence:

VENUE UPDATE: We would like to convey our deep sadness and sympathy to all those who have been affected by the tragic events that occurred last night at Manchester Arena. In support of Manchester, the City leadership and the Chief Constable of Manchester we can confirm that all live shows at our venues will be going ahead tonight as planned. Albert Hall = Broken Social Scene Gorilla = Homeshake The Deaf Institute = Brent Cobb Additionally, we can confirm that our programme for the next week and beyond is unaffected. We would like to reassure our guests that our management and security teams are in regular communication with the police and relevant authorities and are continuously reviewing and enhancing our safety procedures. #alberthallmcr #manchester #brokensocialscene #staysafe #lovemusic

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Broken Social Scene followed up with a post dedicating their upcoming concert to the “hearts of Manchester”:

Tonight, we play for the hearts of Manchester…

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Frontman Kevin Drew kicked off the show by thanking the audience for showing up:

Johnny Marr surprised the crowd by jamming with the band for their first two songs:

Fucccck Jonny marr just came on stage with #brokensocialscene #manchester

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He told the stadium, “Manchester stands together”:

Manchester stands together. Three words from Johnny Marr, who joined Broken Social Scene tonight on stage at the Albert Hall in Manchester. This sentiment and the outpouring of genuine heart and soul from Kevin Drew and the rest of the band lit up a difficult night. A lot of genuine emotion in the venue tonight, on stage and off. A difficult time to come to a city reeling from a horrific event. A wonderful band and a wonderful collection of people and a wonderful audience. Maybe not the gig we wanted, but the gig we needed. #manchesterstandstogether #prayformanchester #brokensocialscene #johnnymarr #musicforthesoul #musicfromtheheart #artsandcrafts #artsandcraftsproductions #alberthall #shutterist #fujix #fujishooter #fujishooters #fujixseries #fujixpro1 #Ishootraw

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The band started with “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year Old Girl.” As this concert-goer said, “It was all the feels”:

It's been a fucking terrible day. I can't begin to tell you how unbelievably life affirming, astonishing, and extraordinary Broken Social Scene were tonight. It was cathartic. I laughed, I danced, I cried. It was everything I needed. There was an unbelievable show of solidarity from the band and the crowd, something I'll never forget. They played 'Anthem for a 17 year old girl' to open, and the end line of 'now you're all gone got your make up on and you're not coming back' couldn't have been more poignant. The second to last song 'Backyards' ended in a crowd chorus of 'be courageous' and it was all the feels. Manchester is a resilient place, we won't be beaten down. Fuck terrorism and all who act in its name. #westandtogether @alberthallmcr #brokensocialscene

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For many, the show was exactly what they needed on the rough day:

The penultimate song, “Backyards,” ended in the crowd belting, “Be courageous”:

This audience member said it well: “In Manchester, we go to gigs”:

“Music will always bring people together,” was another strong sentiment of the night:

“It was emotional, it was brilliant”:

23/05/2017 #manchester #brokensocialscene it was emotional, it was brilliant

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At the end of the show, guitarist James Shaw posted a photo with Johnny Marr, and said “Hearts in our throats”: