With all apologies to KJames, and I promise to keep this in the spirit of SLCR:
I had never seen Sloan before. Back in 1994 I was obsessed and listened to Twice Removed approximately 1 billion times. I listened to a mess of their stuff until about 2000 when I moved away from Lake Erie and couldn’t pick up Canadian radio stations any more. When I saw Sloan was coming to Connecticut I figured now was the time to fulfil the promise made to high-school me.
Sloan was playing at The Space in Hamden, CT. It’s a place I see bands coming to often, but never made it out there. This was the time. Since I hadn’t been there before and a quick Google search showed no restaurants in the immediate area, Dan and I ate dinner at home. Actually, Dan ate dinner. I had gorged myself on breakfast earlier in the day and was still not hungry. As we drove out to The Space, we wondered how many people in Connecticut would turn up to see Sloan. It looks like Underwhelmed was the only song that charted in the US, and peaked at #40 on the Modern Rock chart. I don’t know, in high school and college lots of people (in Ohio right across the lake) liked Sloan.
The Space was exactly that, a big open space with a wall separating the bar from the rest of the venue. Dan and I got there about a half hour before the show started and planted ourselves in a good spot up front that even had a nice pillar to lean on. When all was said and done about 100-150 people showed up. I haven’t seen that many over-sized flannel shirts since the 90’s.
There was no opener, and Sloan took the stage to the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 song. Dan was delighted by this, but I had already had it spoiled by KJames’s review. They played a first set for about 45 minutes that was mostly the new album 12. The new album is really good and really 90s sounding. Dan realized he had been missing out not listening to the new album sooner. The band does a fun thing where after about 4 songs everyone moves one chair to the left and plays/sings different instruments. There was a fifth guy in stage, which I had not seen before, playing keyboard. They also had a pit crew in sweet orange jumpsuits running out to switch up instruments for the band. They sounded great.
At intermission I got a peek at the setlist for part 2. I didn’t see anything from Twice Removed on there, which made me a little sad, but I did see Underwhelmed. “Ha ha!” I said, “Eat it, guy on the internet!” Shortly thereafter, one of the pit crew came by and snatched all the setlists away. I saw the band in the wings scribbling on the lists and shuffling many set lists around. I guess no Underwhelmed. I had to pay for my hubris. Chris came out an apologized; Patrick was really sick and couldn’t play the second half. Chris promised they would still play and try to make it fun for us. Greg the keyboardist was the MVP of the night. He played lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums, and sang as necessary. At the end of the night he picked up the bass and Chris was all, “No, no. I play the bass.” But Greg and the crowd insisted. We demanded the grand slam. Chris relented. They also made up for it by playing pretty much all the singles- possibly because those were the songs Greg (and one of the pit crew guys who guitared for a few songs) know the best. They played like four songs from Twice Removed. They played a bunch of album tracks that I personally really like, but no one else does. They didn’t play Other Man. They even played Underwhelmed, even if no one could do the guitar solo. Ha ha! Once again, Eat It KJames! There was a lot of improvising and messing around, lots of just playing things people shouted. While it was not nearly as musically proficient as the first half, it was still a ton of fun.
After the show, the band came out and mingled with the audience and took pictures and whatnot. I had to work the next day, so we didn’t stick around. Dan picked up the new album, 12 and I found a child’s shirt in the random shirt bin that I could squeeze into. I will wear it with big green cargo pants and be super 90s. Over all, Sloan was a great show and I highly recommend then to anyone who likes gentle alterna-rock and/or things that are very Canadian.
Upcoming Concerts Novel Ideas - Sommerville PorchFest May 12 Bad Bad Hats – June 24 Wolf Parade - August 30
It's the most important meal of the day.
Too bad that Patrick was sick but this would be a neat unique show to see!
I am 100% in favour of people stealing the SLCR gimmick and 100% not in favour of Sloan playing Underwhelmed for other people but not me but I am 100% in favour of you seeing Wolf Parade, I saw them long ago and they were real good.
I probably could infringe on the SLCR gimmick as I've seen
Garth Brooks Glass Animals John Mayer/Dave Chappelle Milky Chance (with opener Lewis Capaldi who sings like an angel) Two Feet Cigarettes After Sex in the last seven or so months, with Glass Animals (again) Modest Mouse Willie Nelson and family and Chris Stapleton all on the docket through August, but neither me or the future Mrs. Whitebacon remember enough about the shows afterwards to do them justice. But go see Glass Animals if they're coming to a town near you. They were amazing. Two Feet too.
I believe my New York friends made the drive up to see this show, too! There were tweets and Instagrams and everything, and they were also nuts about ol' what's-his-name filling in and super psyched about hearing a song they never do (but I have no idea which one it was).
While we're waiting for today's CRZ video to upload, let's all enjoy gusgus - or if you like, Gus Gus - recorded for Seattle's KEXP but graciously shared on YouTube for you and I, BY them, earlier this week.