CMW Review: Slow, The Dirty Nil, May 9, The Phoenix

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Midway through their set at The Phoenix as part of Canadian Music Week, Slow singer Tom Anselmi introduced their song “Have Not Been The Same” as “a classic from the annals of Canadian rock history.” The statement was meant to be somewhat self deprecating but was also kind of true – “Have Not Been The Same” is definitely a cult classic among Canadian rock fans of a certain age, a groundbreaking and influential enough tune to make it the namesake of Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995, a book which detailed the development of the Canadian alternative rock scene of the 1980s and 1990s, thus cementing their place in CanRock history.

On the other hand, Slow, while beloved by fans, never reached the same level of fame and notoriety of some of the other bands featured in that book, which might account for the sparse turnout at The Phoenix on Wednesday night. Though the band may never have reached a certain level of fame, they certainly helped to pave the way for later bands such as openers Single Mothers and The Dirty Nil. Sadly, many of the fans who showed up for those bands weren’t really all that interested in seeing a bunch of old timers, making it seem almost like two different shows in the same venue on the same night. A few of the youngsters stuck around, but there were definitely no moshpits happening for the headliners.

While they may have overshot a little on the size of the venue, Slow still put on a fun show and Anselmi’s still a great, engaging, energetic frontman. Perhaps because they’ve been away for so long, the band played like a band maybe half their age, still displaying some of the attitude that inspired their infamous Expo ’86 performance. And though they didn’t quite get the same type of youthfully exuberant fan response as The Dirty Nil did for their set, Slow still put on a show that absolutely satisfied the dedicated fans who stuck around.

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Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week

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