Toronto – I have never seen Sloan before.
There..I’ve said it.
When I told this to a few of my friends, they were flabbergasted, and then slowly they all recalled when they first saw them, and it was always sometime in the mid 90s and always in some small bar somewhere.
Well, I grew up in Alberta, so it wasn’t like Sloan plays there on a regular basis like they did the East Coast or Toronto. I got to see Wide Mouth Mason a lot though…yay.
So when I saw that War Child and Sloan were collaborating to put on a charity show at the Dakota Tavern on October 19, I thought why not? The Dakota Tavern is a small space, it would be cool to see an established band like Sloan there and I usually feel guilty after seeing those Trebek/McLachlan War Child commercials on tv anyway. So I can basically score good karma points AND see Sloan for the first time in one shot. It was a no brainer. After I bought tickets I was thinking man, it’d be cool to see them play a greatest hits show at the Dakota (basically the only songs of theirs I knew).
Shortly thereafter, my friend D informed me that it was going to be a rarities show (along with some new material). I, of course, was like..shat. I don’t really know much Sloan and surely, I would not know any of their ‘rarities’. I would say lately, the word “Sloan” has been more associated with the hot YTV chick from Entourage then the band. Here is a pic of her. No way E bags this girl if he wasn’t associated with Vinnie Chase, I say.
So the show started around 9..I think there was maybe 50-60 people there. A good size crowd, Ed Robertson from the Barenaked Ladies was there and I think he did socks and sandals. Now here is where the wheels come off this review. I can maybe name 5 Sloan songs..maybe 10 if you really push me, so I can’t say what song they played in which order. Luckily, my friend D is a human encyclopedia of Springsteen, Rolling Stone and Sloan songs, so he was able to provide a set list of sorts..here it is:
Twice Removed: I Can Feel It
One Chord To Another: Autobiography; A Side Wins; Can’t Face Up; Everything You’ve Done Wrong
Navy Blues: Keep On Thinkin'; Stand By Me, Yeah
Between The Bridges: The N.S.; Don’t Believe A Word; Friendship; The Marquee And The Moon; A Long Time Coming; Waiting For Slow Songs
Pretty Together: The Great Wall; Who You Talkin’ To?
Action Pact: The Rest Of My Life
Never Hear The End Of It: Someone I Can Be True With; Who Taught You To Live Like That?
Parallel Play: Living The Dream
NEW ep: Take It Upon Yourself; New Andrew Song
B-Side: At The Edge Of The Scene
The set was about 90-100 minutes and as a casual observer, I thought it was charming. I guess a lot of these songs have not been played in concert in a long time, so at times Patrick would forget the lyrics, but the crowd was more then willing to help along. There was multiple singalongs through out the night and man, the vibe was just good. The guys from the band seem pretty down to Earth and talked to the crowd as if they were all friends (I suspect a good bunch were friends). This was a pretty exchange
“This next song is off Pretty Together, nobody’s favorite album. Kinda like Born on a Pirate Ship”
Haha, thats pretty funny.
It would seem that to me that if you are a band who has toured extensively the last 15-20 years, it must feel good to be able to play a show in your neighborhood, at a place you probably frequent on a regular basis and be able to play songs you would never play at say, the Kool Haus, and get a positive response. This was what made the show good. It was a low key affair and everyone seemed to have a good time.
I guess I can cross Sloan off my list of Canadian bands that I should probably see. Broken Social Scene..you are next.
Ps. You can download the new Sloan single for free off their website here.