So I had the pleasure of seeing Sloan’s SOLD OUT show at Republik last night (June 1st), and I must say that I was thoroughly rocked. I showed up in the middle of the ‘Dearly Beloved’ set, and I was afraid that it would be their last song, as their energy was so intense. Luckily, they did play a couple more songs to an enthusiastic Calgary audience, and I would be surprised if they didn’t gain some fans in the process. ‘Dearly Beloved’ has an interesting guy/girl duo leading guitarists that look like they came from the same womb, and an enthusiastic and talented drummer.
While their sound, especially the male vocals came close to being generic, something about the sweat pouring off the members gave them some credibility. The band hard and heavy through their entire set, convincing some audience members to clap along, and did a fairly good job of keeping them engaged considering very few members of the audience had any idea who they were. All things considered, this ‘Dearly Beloved’ is not really my style of rock, and I didn’t run over to buy any merch, but their hustle and musicianship get them a thumbs up as an opening band.
After a short intermission, Sloan took the stage. Their stage was setup by a few gentlemen in matching purple and yellow outfits. Their throwback satin team jackets sported ‘XX Crew’ insignia, and made more than one audience member jealous. After a short sound check, Sloan took the stage and dove directly in to a seamless montage of new songs from ‘the Double Cross’. If you’ve heard the album, it flows pretty well, and so did the live version. I feel like the entire set list was honed pretty extensively, except for an inpromptu jam (Sloan said would be heard no place else), and a comical mulligan on a guitar solo that was dropped during the first go.
My only gripe on the set-list was the exclusion of ‘Coax Me’, but is definitely justifiable due to it’s slower pace. Sloan did a great job of keeping energy high, playing almost all of their best known hits, including songs like ‘Other Man’ that I had almost completely forgotten about. Sloan went out with a bang of an encore, finishing the night off with a spirited version of ‘Money City Maniacs’, that had the audience asking for another encore. Not surprisingly, the entire band was really engaged with the audience, forcing us to sing along to certain songs, and keeping up a friendly rapport with even some of the rowdier fans.
All in all, I had a fabulous time getting back to my rock and roll roots. If you missed it, and you’re a Sloan fan, I’m not sure you have to be worried. The band shows no real signs of waning, and I foresee another album, and undoubtedly another tour in the not-so-distant future.
You can read my piece on Sloan on the Beatroute website.