Thursday, September 5th 2002
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To start, it must be said that one of the most important elements of a rock concert is the type of girls it attracts. This is important for a number of reasons, and it never fails pushing a "good" concert into "great" territory. Sloan is no exception; the ladies I saw at the Sloan show in Guelph were great. Thoughtful and artistic university aged girls, unafraid to shout out "Yeah! Backstabbin' Yeah!" at the appropriate time.
The crowd was lucky enough to hear the relatively obscure Joel Plaskett Emergency, a band from the east coast with strong blues influences. Plaskett can be commended for catchy guitar riffs and a strong, a soulful howl with a wide range of influences. They were received well, and did an excellent job of paving the way for Sloan to follow up. The show drew to close as Plaskett tuned his guitar and determined that no adjustment was necessary; it was "good enough for rock and roll".
Sloan was entered to strong applause, thunderous, considering the somewhat small number in the crowd. Fans were shouting song titles and a few cries of "I love you guys!" as they band jumped into their first number. The set was strong, a good balance of tunes for the long time fans and cuts from the new album for kids who picked up the disc on account of "The Rest of My Life". Most notably, the band played a great version of "False Alarm" and a pumping rendition of "Backstabbin'" that had even the "too cool to care" types nodding their heads to the beat. Sloan was able to present even some older tunes, like "Money City Maniacs" and "The Good in Everyone" with an edge that sometimes lacks in older repetoire. The Band has always related well to fans, and Chris Murphy threw in some great David Lee Roth kicks "as requested". The instrument switch was smooth, and the crowd could be heard shouting "Like a three legged dog..." as the band ran through "People of the Sky". They left on a high note, on what some would say was a rather short set, and the cool, artistic girls were gone as fast as they appeared. I left, having missed my opportunity, spending too much time enjoying a great concert.
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