Just about every couple of years, Canada’s Sloan puts out an album and does a North American tour. They’ve amassed a following based on their consistency and going to a Sloan show, you see the same exact people you see at every Sloan show year after year…it’s almost like a family reunion except you aren’t related to the other audience members and you get to hear power pop instead of eating bad potato salad that has been sitting out in the sun for too long…
I’ve always had a certain theory about the band members of Sloan - Chris Murphy, Andrew Scott, Patrick Pentland, and Jay Ferguson - and it's a simple one. They are from Halifax, Nova Scotia originally (now relocated to Toronto) and it can get pretty cold up there, especially in the winters. This is why I think they are adept at playing each other’s instruments and such great songwriters as well as performers. It’s the kind of stage presence that takes a great deal of practice without all of the distractions that endless sunny days would provide. There is a certain art in live performance alone and in a band’s ability to captivate an audience. That said, Chris Murphy is definitely the biggest performer of the four piece, showing forth classic rock moves while he plays as if he wouldn’t know how to accompany the songs with anything else. Patrick Pentland joined along in walking along the front of the stage near the audience this time and acting like a member in a quintessential rock band.
I’ve seen Sloan numerous times over the past seven years and have seen the band’s output increase to where they are right now, a band with a massive nine studio album catalog with Parallel Play being their most recent release. The band played the album’s clear hit “I’m Not a Kid Anymore” as well as some other past hits very adeptly including: “Money City Maniacs,” “G Turns to D,” “People of the Sky” and the stellar song “Losing California” from my favorite album of theirs, 1999’s Between the Bridges.
There were only a couple of differences between this and other shows I've seen. There seemed to be a heavier amount of Andrew’s songs as Chris Murphy had reportedly wore out his voice just a bit in NY. The other noticeable change was that they added a kitsch element with a faux radio station, the MRCH with “Skip Low” which ended up being more disruptive to the flow and energy than the band may have anticipated. It was just a little too cheesy to be funny and didn’t add anything to their set, making it a rather unfortunate addition. Still, overall the show was energetic and fun, with an encore that ended on a real high note with “The Good in Everyone.”