Normally, when students think of Farley Field House, they might be reminded of cut-off football jerseys, eye black, and pre-orientation sleepovers. This Saturday night, however, Bowdoin's athletic facility will be transformed when Bowdoin's radio station, WBOR, presents the Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene.
Based in Toronto, Broken Social Scene is a musical collective, formed in 1999, that is currently comprised of 19 members. They have been recognized consistently and prominently, winning two Juno Awards in 2003 and 2006 as well as a nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, which is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian album.
The variable nature of their style is one of the reasons that the concert will be enjoyable to all students?both die-hard fans as well as first time listeners.
"They have extremely danceable hits, like 'Fire Eye'd Boy,'" Audrey Chee '09, WBOR music director, said. "And also more mellowed-out sounds as well. Each song is different so it's impossible to ever get bored."
WBOR concert director Micah McKay '09 and Chee defined Broken Social Scene's sound as "baroque pop." Moreover, because they are such a large band, the respective musical projects of the many members combine to create an orchestral sound.
"It's a really layered effect," McKay said. "They have a very diverse sound."
In addition, Broken Social Scene has asked for accomplished Bowdoin musicians to join them on stage. Three students, Abriel Ferreira '10, Sean Weathersby '10, and Cris Hall '11 will add to the band's sound with their trombones and trumpets.
Bringing Broken Social Scene to Bowdoin is an exciting opportunity for both WBOR and the College.
"We're always trying to bring bands that aren't necessarily on people's radars," McKay said. "It's not our goal to bring bands that might be on the top of the pop charts but whose concerts really aren't that great."
"Instead, we're pushing people to try out sounds that aren't originally found within the college circuit. We're broadening people's musical perspectives and turning them on to bands they might not have heard," he added.
In addition to providing a new musical experience for many Bowdoin students, Broken Social Scene is a well-known, acclaimed, and talented indie band that colleges and universities?especially in northern New England?do not usually have the resources or ability to watch live.
"This is a great opportunity because when it comes to indie music, they are kind of the definition," McKay said.
Both WBOR and the College are anticipating a high turnout of College students, and nearly 200 tickets have been sold to non-Bowdoin students. This concert in particular is placing Bowdoin on the musical map and will draw students from the younger Portland crowd, Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, and other Maine universities, as well as devout Broken Social Scene fans throughout New England. For this reason, the concert is not going to be held in the traditional, smaller space of Smith Union, but instead is going to be the first concert held at the Farley Field House in the history of the College.
"It's never been done before," Chee said of having the concert in Farley. "WBOR is confident that it will work."
Excitement for the concert is present throughout the Bowdoin student body.
"Concerts are fun," Chee said. "They don't happen very often and it's exciting to be able to get big names to perform five seconds from your dorm."
Aspen Gavenus '09 echoed Chee's excited anticipation.
"When I was a freshman, my [friend] Zachary Tcheyan confessed that his stranded-on-a-desert-island album would be Broken Social Scene," Gavenus said. "Since then I've always been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see them live."
Broken Social Scene with openers Land of Talk will perform at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, in Farley Field House. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is free to all students, faculty, and staff with a Bowdoin ID. Tickets for non-Bowdoin students are $15 and can be purchased at the Smith Union info desk or by calling (207) 725-3375. Concert-goers can also purchase tickets at the door.