Sloan – [Live]

Sunday, 31 July 2011

When I had first learned that Sloan was playing the main stage at Barrie's Kempenfest this year, I was a little skeptical about the crowd that might show up. Were they going there for Sloan or for the cold beer on a hot Friday night of a long weekend? As Sloan took the stage and the crowd around me started to get into them, my skepticism was laid to rest.

This song is dedicated to you because this song is for people who know what rock and roll is about.”

Like with most bands that have been around for quite awhile and hit the road to tour a new album, you have to expect a mix of the old and new in their set – so I thought I knew what the night was to bring. Sloan starts the show off by delving into their latest record, The Double Cross, with not just one but three tracks (“Follow the Leader,” “The Answer Was You” and “Unkind”). If you think starting a show like this is a ballsy move, you're right – but it was also what the crowd needed. In opening with three comparatively untested songs, Sloan showed us that they aren’t just relying on their “Old Stuff” to get them through their shows and that they still have what it takes to write and record music that can still be relevant today… and rock like hell.

As Sloan moved into their singles, there's no way you couldn't sing along with lines like “I told her affection had two F's especially when you're dealing with me” from “Underwhelmed” – it was simply a showcase of Canadian indie rock at its finest. Because these guys have been recording and touring together for such a long time now, they are one of the tightest live bands touring today, in my opinion. You could blindfold all of them, shove them on stage and they could plough through their entire catalogue with no trouble at all. The hits continued as “If It Feels Good Do It” and “The Good in Everyone” were busted out, and they had the crowd singing along to every song.

One of the high points in the night was when they pulled the horn section from the opening band Brett Caswell & The Marquee Rose Band up on stage and had them join in while they played “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” and “Who Taught you to Live Like That.” You could tell there was little to no rehearsal and it worked; good live shows work when you throw a wrench into a band's normal routine, and adding the horns to those songs live worked better than they ever could have imagined. The night ended with the over-the-top (in a good way) rockin’ “Money City Maniacs” with its blaring fire siren opening, and it was just sublime; all you need is to hear that siren at the start and you know what you’re in for.

Twenty years on Chris, Patrick, Jay and Andrew are still at the top of their game, thanks for letting all of us in Barrie play along.

Set List – July 29th, 2011

  1. Follow The Leader
  2. The Answer Was You
  3. Unkind
  4. Underwhelmed
  5. The Lines You Amend
  6. Losing California
  7. Penpals
  8. If It Feels Good Do It
  9. C'mon C'mon (Were Gonna Get It Started)
10. Coax Me
11. The Good In Everyone
12. She’s Slowing Down Again
13. Traces
14. People Of The Sky
15. The Rest Of My Life
16.  It's Plain to See
17.  Beverly Terrace
18.  Shadow Of Love
19.  Everything You’ve Done Wrong (Included the Marquee Rose Horns)
20.  Who Taught You To Live Like That (Included the Marquee Rose Horns)


21.  The Other Man
22.  Money City Maniacs

Sloan –
Kempenfest, Barrie Waterfront – Barrie, Ontario, Canada – 07/29/11


Further Reading:

Ground Control – The Double Cross – [Review]
Ground Control – Interview with Andrew Scott 11/03/08 -[Feature]


Sloan's summer tour around Ontario continues. For an updated list of shows, click here .

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