Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sloan @ Echo Beach, Toronto (August 5, 2011)

Sloan @ Echo Beach: photo by Michael Ligon

Sloan @ Echo Beach: photo by Michael Ligon

Sloan once were fashionable - for about a year, maybe two. They were right on board with the alt-rock movement of the early 1990's when Nirvana and Sonic Youth were bringing the indie and 'punk' music to the forefront of the music industry. But since their second album, 1994's "Twice Removed", the band have gone the decidedly unfashionable route for the last seventeen years playing out their pop and classic rock influences. Over the band's twenty year career, they've released ten full-lengths, two EP's and a live album and have solidly established themselves, I think, as one of Canada's all-time best bands.

The band played a free show at Echo Beach in Toronto at the beginning of August. The classics of course were what the fans were obviously there for and Sloan eased their way into the set with a trio of songs from their most recent album "The Double Cross" before giving the fans what they wanted, starting with their very first single 'Underwhelmed'. Funny thing is that over the course of the last 15-20 years (holy shit I'm feeling old), I'd thought I'd grown out of the noisy, messiness of their first album "Smeared" but since the show have reconnected with its discordant, pop melodies.

The rest of the set was a mixture of their greatest hits/singles, more songs from "The Double Cross" and a few curve-balls such as the vocally reconfigured version of 'C'mon, C'mon (We're Gonna Get It Started)', as well as 'Sinking Ships' both from their album "Navy Blues". The main set ended quite exuberantly with enthusiastic renditions of 'Everything You've Done Wrong' (with a horn section) and 'Who Taught You To Live Like That?'. For the encore, fan favourites 'The Other Man' and 'Money City Maniacs' were included but the pièce de résistance was the band's ode to the venue and well to Toronto's Martha and the Muffins by performing an excellent, albeit, ragged cover of "Echo Beach" featuring second opening band Modern Superstitions' Nyssa on vocals. A fine set all around from a band who have been and who will no doubt remain my favourite Canadian band of all time.

The setlist.

For my whole photo set, check out the link below:

Photos: Sloan @ Echo Beach, Toronto (August 5, 2011)

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