Broken Social Scene reflects on playing Manchester
Members of Broken Social Scene had to make a difficult decision in the wake of the suicide bombing attack that left 22 people dead in Manchester.
The Toronto band was scheduled to open the European leg of its tour for the upcoming album “Hug of Thunder’’ on May 23 at Albert Hall in Manchester.
A day earlier, a terrorist attack struck Manchester Arena, where thousands of young people had turned out for an Ariana Grande concert.
“We all sat in the backstage room and had a big group meeting to see how everybody felt,’’ recalls Charles Spearin, a member of the sprawling rock collective.
Questions circulated about whether the venue would still be open, while the band debated if it was appropriate to go on stage when emotional wounds were so fresh.
The band decided their show must go on and thought the sombre “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl’’ would set the appropriate tone to open the concert.
Earlier plans had called for Manchester native Johnny Marr, former guitarist for the Smiths, to join the band on stage. But the guitarist was reticent to entertain his hometown crowd when the whole country was in emotional tatters.