Thursday, September 15th 2011
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The long part of the story could include my trip from Calgary to see the show or how I managed to occupy my time from shows end to my departure the next morning however this is a show review.
I LOVED IT.
It was interesting to see Sloan outside of Canada. I didn't know what kind of support the band might enjoy in New York so I was interested in talking to as many locals as I could. The show at the Bowery attracted a wide mix of music lovers. This included first timers and veterans alike. With this show featuring the new album and a select group of tunes over Sloan 20 years I assured the first timers they were in for a treat.
Thankfully, in my opinion, the new album ranks as one of my top 3. I think the songs flows and are easily some of their strongest of their discography. The band kicked off with XX's lead off tracks (“Follow the Leader” into “The Answer was You” then “Unkind”) which put the crowd right into it. If you were new to Sloan these songs were as good an introduction as any, both songs showcasing the group’s signature vocals and song to song format but also of how current they remain.
As they continued through their catalogue with a mix of songs (Marquee, Snowsuit Sound, Worried Now) they continued to insert songs from the new disc with no drop off in quality.
Andrews’s guitar section also leaned heavily on the new featuring “She’s Slowing Down” and “Traces”. My one beef, usually with any Sloan show, is would like to hear some more of Andrew’s songs. I do understand the logistics of this and I often wonder how it is Andrew or Chris can switch from the drums and have their fingers stay “guitar fresh”.
With Andrew back behind the drums the band launched in to the “disco” portion of XX with “It’s Plain to See” and “Your Daddy Will Do”. I was happy to hear “Don’t Believe a Word” before Patrick’s up-tempo “I Gotta Know” These songs highlight the bands new material and older more obscure songs can stand up to the established hits like “Coax Me”. True to that concept the band finished off the regular set with “Beverley Terrace” (and its nod back to “Shadow of Love”) and “Losing California”.
At this point the shady American beer I was drinking took its toll. So without the benefit of my stolen set-list I don’t recall what came next. The crowd was still in full force and as loud as any Canadian crowd I have been in. The band sounded relevant and fresh and tightly oiled. I was happy to get a chance to mingle around the venue and stalk each member of the band for a signature on my set list.
Overall this show was fantastic. I had to miss them when they travelled through Calgary so I figured a way to see the show in New York. The overall experiences of seeing Sloan in the Bowery Ballroom, playing in support of “The Double Cross”, make this one of my favorite shows ever. I hope we can get another tour leg soon. Maybe a little closer to home.
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