Saturday, April 30th 2005
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Sloan hit the stage an hour or so earlier than expected. It was the very beginning of the second day of the festival, and some of the Sunday-only attendees were just beginning to get oriented in the large polo-fields venue. Considering the circumstances, Sloan drew a considerable crowd, and managed to keep the notoriously impatient Coachella audience captivated for the entire hour. The set began with "Underwhelmed" and a few of the more "rock'n'roll" songs on the card, after which Jay introduced the band to the (mostly) unfamiliar audience. Between songs, Jay gave the audience little snippets about the band's history without seeming overly self-indulgent or just plain dull.
"How many Canadians do we have here?" drew considerable response, with about 50 percent of the probably 10% Canadian crowd erupting with cheers and flailing their arms. There was some definite response from the left side (from the viewer's perspective) of the crowd, as two Canadian flags were unfolded by audience members, and a crew of youngsters with matching wristbands all seeming to erupt in cheers. After hearing the response, Jay said "Shh.... don't let them know", and sarcastically added "We're big in the States!"...
This was proven clearly untrue when Sir Ferguson tried to get the audience to sing some lines from some of the more popular songs, and received a pretty weak response from the early-afternoon crowd. In later songs, Jay assisted the audience by telling them the lines ahead of time and letting them sing along, which the crowd still seemed somewhat oblivious of.
All of the bandmembers got a chance at the mic in a setlist that included hits from most of the albums. Patrick did a good job of winning over the fans on the "Canadian" side of the room, while Chris satiated fans on the "right" side, with good eye contact and considerable energy. I was impressed with Andrew's stage presence as a drummer in all except for one of the day's songs.
Jay worked both sides of the crowd and gave an inspiring performance as drummer. The setlist included "If It Feels Good Do It", "Losing California", "The Lines You Amend", "The Good In Everyone", and a very impressive performance of "The Other Man", which probably drew the most crowd response during the hour.
One of the telltale signs of the band's success was when, late in the set, Jay set up a "decibel competition" comparing which side of the audience made the most noise. As expected, the left side of the audience came out strong, but the initially tentative right side of the audience matched, if not surpassed the other side's enthusiasm. For a very unconventional Sloan audience, there was clear enjoyment, as I (on the right side of the crowd, no less) heard a number of people making positive comments and nodding with satisfied expressions. By the end of the day, I also noticed that the green "Sloan" shirts were completely sold out from the merchandise stand.
Having lived in Southern California for the last six years, I had never gotten the chance to see Sloan perform, and I must say, it was a delightful introduction and hopefully the first of many more sloan performances. Congratulations and thank you, guys, for a job well done.
Phenomenal! One of the best shows of the Coachella Festival. Blew the doors of Weezer.
Umm.... by Jay, do you mean Chris??
If it were he, I think that would be the most animated I've ever heard Jay be.... and the quietest Chris ever. ;)
I don't mean to be nitpicky but the band hit the stage on time ; they were scheduled to play at 1:35. And I think that you were confusing Jay with Chris ; Jay didn't play drums during Sunday's set.
Other than that, you wrote a great review ! :-)
I'm so glad that I went to Coachella ; I even enjoyed Weezer's set ;-).
Did you go to the autograph signing at the Virgin Megastore tent ? There was a decent sized line waiting to meet the guys and buy A Sides Win. It was a good excuse to say hello ; Jay and Chris recognized me from the Austin TX shows last year :-).
I suppose I did confuse Jay with Chris. Unfortunately, there's no way to edit my review. Oh well, that's life.
As for the starting time, I could have been wrong. Time does have a way of flying at those festivals.
I did go to the record signing. I'm not sure if any of you saw me, I was wearing a black matthewgood avalanche tour t-shirt. The guys seemed really friendly. I can see why their fanbase is so commited, and renowned by those chartattack.com writers.
I'll be attending University of Calgary next year, so hopefully I'll get to see a lot more Sloan shows.
I got in a little late on Sunday and Sloan was still hands down the best show I saw that day. The Blood Brothers were a close second. Some bands were too cool for school (i.e. Kasabian), but Sloan were exactly as I'd seen them before: loud, tight and self-confident. Being so far from Buffalo for the weekend, it was great seeing a "local" band that I love out in Coachella. Props to Chris for not puking during the set. Still the best live band around for my money.
Great Show...my first Sloan show....I bought a green shirt...they were one of the best shows at Coachella....I was impressed! Great Rock-n-Roll
How awesome is it when you live in Toronto and your first ever Sloan concert experience happens at Coachella? Way awesome. Sloan definately represented. Go team!
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